Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Maori Party hanging tough on marine bill

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says Labour's withdrawal of support for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Maona) Bill is electioneering.

Labour says the Government's bill won't resolve the conflict, so it's talking with the Greens and Act on what could replace its Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Dr Sharples says the Government still has the numbers to pass the bill.

“We're just hanging tough. We’ve been around the iwi. We’ve found tremendous support for us as a party and holding our line even though iwi stand up and say ‘we can’t vote for this because in terms of our situation this is it, we really wanted more,’ and we understand that and other iwi are saying ‘we support the bill’ so it’s about half and half to us,” Dr Sharples says.

He says the existing bill offers Maori the best chance they will get to go to court to test their customary title to coastal areas.


Waikato - Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says the Kingitanga will suffer long term damage Tainui's current governance crisis goes to court.

King Tuheitia this week sacked the chair of the tribal parliament, Tania Martin, after she refused to apologise for producing a factually inaccurate analysis of what the tribe's executive board was spending.

Ms Mahuta says Tainui has seen what happened in past years when disputes between Te Kauhanganui or parliament and the executive, Te Ara Taura, was taken out of the tribal domain.

“If this matter ends up in court, nobody wins, least of all the king or the tribe. Our governance challenges are something that have to be resolved within the existing dispute mechanism that the tribe has but if not and it ends up in court, it will take a long time to recover from that sort of reputational damage and what is or isn’t happening in Tainui,” Ms Mahuta says.


A new tourist attraction opened its doors in Timaru today.

The $2.7 million Rock Art Centre fulfils a longstanding dream of Ngai Tahu to both protect the 500 rock art sites in Canterbury and Otago and bring back many of the examples removed early last century and placed in museums.

Curator Amanda Symon says the centre includes world-leading interactive technolgy to display the taonga and tell the tribe's story.

The centre expects more than 36,000 visitors a year to make their way to Timaru to see the taonga.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the place of the Treaty of Waitangi is the main question Maori want answered by the upcoming constitutional review.

Dr Sharples will chair the review alongside Deputy Prime Minister Bill English.

He says while it will consider issues like the length of the parliamentary terms and the number of MPs, Maori have been waiting a long time for the treaty to deliver what they expect.

“For Maori the reality isit is (about) where does the treaty fit in our constitution because we had tino rangatiratanga in this country prior to colonisation. When colonisation began we drew up a Treaty of Waitangi and that was supposed to protect and develop the Maori tikanga and culture. However it has done the opposite. It has allowed confiscation and those sort of things,” Dr Sharples says.

The review will take 2 or 3 years to allow for the strong debate it is likely to generate.


Waikato-Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta says it's possible to get a more durable solution to foreshore and seabed issues then what's currently on the table.

Labour withdrew its backing for the Government's Marine and Coastal Area Bill because it says neither Maori nor Pakeha support it, and it's talking with the Greens and Act about what needs to be in any replacement.

Ms Mahuta says after more than six years of debate there is a lot of agreement.

“People want certainty. They want to know they can go to the beach. They want to ensure that customary rights are protected and it’s just the type of solution and getting the balance of those interests right that will seal the deal,” Ms Mahuta says.

The Government with the backing of four Maori Party MPs and United Future's Peter Dunne still has the votes to get its bill passed.


The head of the country's largest Maori tertiary institution says 25 years of teaching adults means Te Wananga o Aotearoa is ready to make a difference to the education of rangatahi.

In collaboration with Tu Toa Charitable Trust, the wananga has been given the green light to run what it's calling tai wananga in Hamilton and Palmerston North for year 9 to 13 students.

Bentham Ohia says the curriculum will include employment-based qualifications as well as NCEA subjects within a Maori environment.

He says it fits the organisation's kaupapa of lifelong learning, and it also teaches about 250 pre-schoolers.

Bentham Ohia says the Palmerston North tai wananga will start next term with capacity for 50 students, and Hamilton will start later with 80 students.

Friday, December 10, 2010

SIS power grab alarms Greens

Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says there are no guarantees that extra powers given to the Security Intelligence Services won't be wrongly used against Maori.

Ms Turei says the Government's intention to consider submissions about the bill in secret should cause grave alarm.

She says Maori concerned about what the SIS may do with their now powers need look no further than the way the police used anti-terrorism laws to target Maori and other activists in 2007's operation Eight.

“The raids on Ruatoki were a classic example of the misuse of state powers when they had powers like this for surveillance. We’ve got real concerns for this legislation for the way we are being shut out and for the impact it will have on Maori in particular because I think they will continue to be a target,” Ms Turei says.


The leader of a major study into ethnic and socieconomic trends in cancer says more work needs to be done on why the rate of breast cancer among Maori women is rising.

The Otago University survey found breast cancer rates was increasing in all ethnic groups, but most rapidly amongst Maori, with Maori rates a third higher than European rates bu the end of the study period in 2004.

Professor Tony Blakely says some increase was expected, because the average number of children Maori women are having is dropping.

“We know those things cause breast cancer incidence to go up. What we don’t understand is why the Maori rates are higher than the European rates at any one point in time because even though the rates of fertility are falling faster for Maori women, they still tend to have more children than European women which should be protective, so there are some known’s and some unknowns in there,” he says.

Professor Blakely says an associated study shows the burden of cancer is falling more heavily on Maori, because of higher incidence rates and worse survival once diagnosed.


The academic director of the Waikato Tainui College of Research and Development says a new MBA course is designed to produce the Maori leaders of the future.
The two-year Masters of Business Administration will be run out of the tribe's Endowed College at Hopuhopu, and aims to start next April with 30 students.

Sarah Jane Tiakiwai says it's a partnership between the college and Waikato University's management school.

“We saw it as an opportunity to take the number one business school MBA programme and add value, drawing on the best of our networks in Maori and indigenous business to be able provide case studies that are a lot more relevant to Maori and looking internationally and extending our indigenous business networks as well,” Dr Tiakiwai says.

The MBA course will include an international study tour.


New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters says the Maori Party's Pita Sharples seems to have little grasp of what a constitution is.

And he says as an MP with a vested interest in the outcome he is the wrong person to lead a constitutional review.

Dr Sharples and deputy prime minister Bill English will head the review which includes the electoral system, Maori seats, the term of parliament and the status of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Mr Peters is urging New Zealanders to boycott the review, and says an opinion piece in the name of the Tamaki MP was a cause for alarm.

“He didn't seem to grasp what our constitution was about, and to liken our present structure to an old bach that needs to be rebuilt really suggested to me that somebody behind him with a rather illusory academic bent wrote that,” he says.

Mr Peters says despite the preference the Maori Party seems to have for a written document, New Zealand's unwritten constitution has serves its citizens well.


Maori political commentator Matt McCarten says Phil Goff's surprise decision to pull Labour's support from the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill spells the end of the reform.

The former Alliance president says Mr Goff has read the public mood well, and it's now a huge challenge for National and the Maori Party to get the bill over the line.

“All it needs is one more MP to move, and I think that eventually is going to happen, and once we have that down the Nats can only get it through by one vote. I think on that basis this bill is over. I think what Phil Goff has doen is effectively defeated the change that National had wanted on the seabed and foreshore,” Mr McCarten says.

He says Labour stands to win back some of the Maori vote if the Maori Party continues to support the Bill.


The head of the Health Research Council, Robin Olds, says the high quality of applications meant it was hard to choose who not to fund in the latest round of Maori grants.

Successful applications include research on the use of whakapapa in therapy, Maori access to quality health care in Christchurch, suicide prevention, family well-being, sustainable housing, childhood asthma, the health of women prisoners and ways to address gambling among Maori women.

Dr Olds says the bids reflected well on the Maori workforce and the council gets far more good applicants that it can support.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Ngata advice cited on treaty role

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Maori party should take the advice of a superior Maori politician and stop trying to include the Treaty of Waitangi in a written constitution.

A constitutional review announced yesterday, which is to be chaired by Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and deputy prime minister Bill English will include looking at the Maori seats and at the place of the treaty in New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.

Mr Peters says Sir Apirana Ngata, the dminant Maori politician of the first half of the 20th century, always advised against writing the treaty into law.

“Once you do that you can have an amendment and a change and there goes your so called flagship or bastion of your cultural interest. Now Ngata could see that a long time ago and I don’t think his views should be ignored, even in a modern context,” he says.

Mr Winston Peters is urging the public to boycott what he calls an undemocratic review.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says a free trade deal being negotiated in Auckland this week is likely to harm Maori interests.

The Prime Minister, John Key, says the free trade agreement with China has benefited Maori involved in dairy and forestry, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership will allow similar benefits in the United States and other markets around the Pacific.

But Ms Turei says the TPP isn't about trade and swapping goods from one country to another.

“It's actually about constraining policy so things like the US wants to interfere in our GE labeling rules, that’s going to have a huge impact on Maori particularly when you are talking about WAI 262, bioprospecting, all of the issues around the control by Maori of Maori indigenous knowledge,” Ms Turei says.

She says respect for the Treaty of Waitangi and indigenous interests is a low priority in such trade deals.


A navy lieutenant says he's keen to see whether an indigenous youth programme in British Columbia might provide lessons for young Maori.

Mason Tolerton has been granted a $5000 Winston Churchill Scholarship to study the Canadian Navy's Raven Aboriginal Youth Employment programme.

The trained anthropologist says he'll compare it with the youth development life change courses he runs a Burnham Military Camp for 18 to 25 year olds.

The first week of the six-week Raven course is devoted to culture.


Maori lawyer Moana Jackson is welcoming Labour's decision to drop its support for the Marine and Coastal Area Bill.

But he says the alternative suggested by leader Phil Goff amounts to no real change.

Mr Goff has suggested going back to the position that prevailed before the Foreshore and Seabed Act, as long as any land that goes under customary title can't be sold and there is guaranteed public access.

Mr Jackson says that's the basic discriminatory aspect of the 2004 Act.

“Representations were made about the discriminatory nature of only demanding Maori provide access. The United Nations said that was a blatant discrimination under the human rights convention on the elimination of racial discrimination and if he Is prepared to maintain that, then really nothing has changed,” Mr Jackson says.


Save the Children is looking to put more of its resources into Aotearoa.

Chief executive Liz Gibbs says it conducted a study on the issues confronting New Zealand children and found gangs, family violence and bullying are big problems, with poverty the underlying cause.

She says the charity's board is considering specific programmes to target Maori and Pacific tamariki.

“There's some really serious issues like child abuse in New Zealand which means that life is not satisfactory for our young people here. As a rights based organisation that puts children at the centre, we have an obligation to get involved in raising those issues and hopefully adding to the dialogue, adding to the awareness but also hopefully doing something to contribute to finding some of the solutions,” Ms Gibbs says.

Save the Children's research indicates child abuse costs $2 billion a year for social services, policing, imprisonment and law enforcement.


Waikato Tainuis' endowed college at Hopuhopu is to finally be used as intended for post-graduate study.

The $30 million college was the brainchild of the late Sir Robert Mahuta, but the tribe's financial problems and disputes over how best it could be used means it has served more as an administrative centre and venue for short term wananga.

Sarah Jane Tiakiwai, the academic director for the Waikato Tainui College of Research and Development, says from next year it will host a Masters of Business Administration course.

She says that fits with the tribe's long term Whakatupuranga 2050 strategy and will allow them to invest in the people who will lead tribes in future.

The two year MBA course will be run jointly with the Center for Corporate and Executive Education of Waikato University's management school.

Key talks up free trade benefits

The Prime Minister John Key says the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement being negotiated in Auckland this week will be beneficial for Maori.

The United States, Australia and three other countries are seeking to join the agreement already agreed between New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei and Chile,
Mr Key says Maori need only look to the free trade agreement with China to see the potential benefits.

“In the two or three years we’ve now signed that deal, exports are up four times in terms of dairy and three times in terms of forestry so if you think about Maori participation in primary industry they’re big beneficiaries of that export growth and I think you will see the same if we can pursue a deal with the Americans which is really what TPP is about,” Mr Key says.

He says exceptions can be made in the agreements to protect unique rights such as those iwi may have under the treaty.


But indigenous rights lawyer Moana Jackson says the Trans-Pacific Partnership could threaten treaty settlements.

He says it's a bill of rights for multinational corporations and a threat not just to Maori tino rangatiratanga but to New Zealand’s sovereignty.

“There are real dangers that the Maori interest in a particular matter or a particular trading venture or a settlement that might have reserved certain thngs for an iwi or hapu could be seen as a restraint on free trade and would therefore become unacceptable to the major powers who could quite easily then demand those settlement processes be removed,” Mr Jackson says.

He says Maori have been excluded from the negotiations, even though their interests are at stake.


Mo Tatou, a major exhibition of Ngai Tahu taonga, has reached Otago Museum … with some local embellishments.

The Ngai Tahu Whanui exhibition was originally pulled together for a two year run at Te Papa in Wellington, and has also been seen in Canterbury and Southland.

Museum spokesperson Juliet Pierce says the Moeraki, Waihao, Hokonui, Purteraki and Otakau runaka were asked to provide taonga and photographs of significant tupuna for the Aukaha Kia Kaha or Strengthen the Bindings section.

She says it was important to include the runaka in the development and proceedings of the exhibition, because the museum is telling their story.

Mo Tatou runs until April.


The Labour Party has changed its position on the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

Leader Phil Goff told Radio Waatea that Labour had agreed to support the bill currently before the Maori Affairs select committee on the basis that it provided a sustainable solution.

But he says it's clear the National Party and the Maori Party have made a hash of it, and he's ready to propose a simpler solution.

“You have legislation that does what everyone agrees it should do, and first of all that is any land that goes under customary title not be able to be alienated by sale into private ownership, secondly, that there is guaranteed public access by all people to all of our foreshore and seabed area and then maybe what you should do is go back to pre-2004,” Mr Goff says.


Health researchers say screening programmes are starting to make a real impact of rates of cervical cancer among Maori.

A comprehensive study of cancer incidence among different ethnic and socioeconomic groups since 1981 found cervical cancer rates had halved in 25 years.

Study leader Tony Blakely says while the Maori rate was still twice as high as women of European descent, the decline had been dramatic because screening allows early diagnosis and treatment.

“And what it demonstrates is that even though participation rates for Maori and Pacific are a little less than European, it’s not as good as we would like, there’s still enough coverage for Maori to get a big benefit from it and because the rates of cervical cancer are so much higher among Maori to start with, that participation has seen the rates come down nicely, so it’s a good example of a screening programme making a difference,” Professor Blakely says.

In contrast to cervical cancer, breast cancer rates among Maori women were increasing rapidly, and lung cancer rates were also high.


Entertainer Russel Harrison says it's a privilege to be part of group honouring the man who gave him his first big break in showbusiness.

Harrison was just 18 when Sir Howard Morrison gave him a job as a backing vocalist, and he's now on the road with the Howard Morrison Trio ... that's Howard junior along with Chris Powley.

The former Lotto presenter from Ngapuhi says apart from the singing, the hard work was getting the comic timing needed to recreate the master's stage antics.

He says Morrison Jr’s abilities as a vocalist aren’t well recognised.

The Howard Morrison Trio plays at Te Mahurehure Maori Cultural Centre in Auckland on Saturday night.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Iwi ready for constitutional talks

Iwi from around the country have created a working group to provide an independent counterpoint to the constitutional review.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples today announced that a cross-party group of MPs would conduct the review, which would look at the size of Parliament, Maori seats and the role of the Treaty of Waitangi.

An advisory panel will be appointed to support the MPs, but work won't really start until after next year's election.

Lawyer Moana Jackson from Ngati Kahungunu says Maori aren't waiting, and iwi and urban groups are calling on people with experience in constitutional issues.

“The Crown review is quite limited in its potential scope whereas we want to be as broad ranging really as our people want to be so I’m a bit nervous about the process because it is a bit new for our people but also really excited about this one,” Mr Jackson says.

The group's first meeting in Auckland this weekend will include Carwyn Jones, who has just returned from doctoral studies in Canada, and Catherine Davis from Te Rarawa, who spent six months at the United Nation Human Rights Commission in Geneva.


Prime minister John Key says the decision to bring Hekia Parata into cabinet will give a role model for young Maori women.

The promotion to fill the women's affairs and ethnic affairs portfolios vacated by Pansy Wong came after the list MP's strong performance in the Mana by-election.

Mr Key says the Ruatoria-born MP will be able to use her past experience as a senior official in Te Puni Kokiri and other ministries.

“She's a bit of a policy wonk really, old Hekia. She really dives into the detail and understands how to write good policy stuff. I think she’ll make a very good minister,” Mr Key says.


A far north oyster farmer says the oyster herpes virus which is killing off juvenile Pacific oysters in upper North Island harbours, has wiped out his production for this year.

Ben Waitai, who has farms in the Rangaunu and Parengarenga harbours, says most of the spat he collected in the Kaipara Harbour last summer and autumn has died off.

He says there is little to do but clean out the water space for next year's crop.

“It's a real stench like a death stench, it stinks, the whole farm. I was on there a couple of days ago and once you start removing stock, just the smell, right throughout the whole place,” Mr Waitai says.

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry scientists say the virus, which poses no risk to humans, could have been triggered by warmer water temperatures.


Prime Minister John Key has poured cold water on a call to scrap with the Marine and Coastal Area Bill and just repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004.

The suggestion was contained in a submission by Maori Party MP Hone Harawira to the select committee considering the bill.

Mr Key says if the Government goes back to square one, there will never be a replacement for Labour's 2004 Act.

“People will very quickly get into election year, it will take a long time, they’ll say it is probably not worth the hassle, the 2004 legislation will bed in. In the long run, you will have a piece of legislation that that say if iwi go to the Crown and say ‘we think we have got vcustomary title in the case of the existing customary territorial rights orders, and then they don’t reach agreement with the Crown, they have no other avenue to pursue.
Mr Key says.

He says the government has put a lot of work into a solution which addresses the primary concerns of Maori while codifying existing precedents around customary title.


Maori lawyer Moana Jackson says going on past history, Maori may have the most to fear from the increased powers the Government intends to give the Security Intelligence Service.

The Prime Minister, John Key, says the bill covering electronic tracking, accessing computers, and tapping into internet and cell phone communications needs to be passed before the Rugby World Cup.

Mr Jackson says it is profoundly undemocratic that submissions will be heard in secret

“If now the SIS gets these extended secret powers, then experience shows that Maori may well be disproportionately affected by that. The sort of korero that happens at hui when people talk about the Crown the sort of frank and direct discussions that people have on the marae may well be subject to surveillance,” Mr Jackson says.

The use of anti-terrorism laws by Police in the Operation 8 surveillance near Ruatoki in 2007 was a stark lesson for Maori about how such powers can be used.


Ngati Rangi of the upper Whanganui River has laid to rest their whaea Morna Taute, who died on Saturday at the age of 75.

Mrs Taute was the turanga Maori or Maori theological worker for the Wellington Catholic Diocese.

Her daughter, Hira Downes, says her mother left school at 14, but a lifetime of voluntary and community service allowed her to make a substantial contribution to the team around Archbishop John Dew.

“I think she brought a lot of new and different things to their lives, probably making them more aware of our ways, as iwi, opening up their vision. The tributes to her have been really wonderful and a lot of it’s been an eye-opener to use because we didn’t really know about the way she drew people in the way she did,” Mrs Downes says.

The tangi ended today at Tirohanga Marae at Karioi south of Ohakune.

River trust issues warning

The chair of the new Te Arawa River Trust, Roger Pikia, says time is up for those who pollute the Waikato River.

The iwi has signed off its river accord with the Crown and will join other river tribes on a shared co-management board to oversee the river clean-up.

Mr Pikia says farmers who let waste and nutrients run off their land into the country's longest river will be in the board's sights.

“I think it applies to all industries and urban centres and not just restricted to farmers. I think any unscrupulous operators need to be singled out because it’s just not a sustainable model. It’s about encouraging and allowing growth, but in a sustainable manner that needs to be threaded throughout everything we do,” Mr Pikia says.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is warning that an epidemic of diabetes among Maori, Pasifika and Asian people could overwhelm the health system.

Diabetes New Zealand claims that DHBs are cutting diabetes services at a time they need ramping up.

Mrs Turia, who is Associate Health minister, says she has seen no evidence of that.

But she says something needs to be done about the number of people with type 2 diabetes, which is now estimated at about 200,000.

“If we don't look after ourselves, if we don’t begin to acknowledge the difficulties there are for us, particularly indigenous, Asian and Pacific peoples, we are going to find that services will be rationed because the system itself will simply not be able to sustain what is needed,” Mrs Turia says.

She says better diet and exercise is the starting point for preventing diabetes among Maori.


A Te Whanau A Apanui kaumatua says building marae in Australia may not be wise.

A roopu in Logan city, just south of Brisbane, is currently fundraising to build a multicultural marae.

Te Kepa Stirling says while such projects can generate a lot of initial enthusiasm, that enthusiasm can wane, as people discovered when they tried to build a marae at Toowoomba in the 1980s.

He says when people return to New Zealand, here can be challenges finding people to look after the marae.

Maori constitutional lawyer Moana Jackson says the way the National-led Government is handling reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act breaches its support agreement with the Maori Party.

Mr Jackson says the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill isn't what Maori were after when they marched to parliament in 2004.

He says the threat by the Prime Minister, John Key, that the current Act will stay in place if the bill is rejected amounts to a breach of faith.

“That threat is actually in breach of the coalition agreement because they have agreed with the Maori Party to repeal the 2004 Act. They haven’t agreed to do anything else. So if he threatens to keep that Act in place, then he’s actually breaching the coalition agreement with the Maori Party,” Mr Jackson says.

He says the government needs to go back to the drawing board on the reform, perhaps bringing in outside experts to draft a replacement bill.


A member of a new Maori women's group says wahine often haven't spoken out in the past because they fear being knocked down.

Te Wharepora was formed in Auckland to work alongside a new national Maori women's forum, Te Whaainga Wahine.

Marama Davidson says she expects more groups to spring up around the country as women feel the mood for change.

“Why would we put our necks out there when the head has been chopped off so many times? Within our group we’ve got the safety of knowing we are all mana wahine. Safety in numbers means that not one wahine should have to stand alone but we’re all there with each other,” Ms Davidson says.

The women are concerned that other roopu like the Iwi Leaders Group don't allow their voices to come through.


The head of an Auckland health promotion and training service is encouraging whanau to give their wahine a cervical smear fro Christmas.

Ruth Davy from WONS says cervical cancer responds well to treatment if it is picked up early enough.

She says many Maori and Pasifika women are shy about getting checks, so they may need encouragement.

“All women have shyness but Maori and Pacific Island women have layers and layers of shyness that we just have to take away very slowly and very carefully so that women feel comfortable and they are happy to have their smear test, no one’s happy to have it, but they’re comfortable in having their test every three years until they turn 70,” Ms Davy says.

WONS' mobile cervical smear units will be at shopping and community centres around Auckland over the summer.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

ACT called two-faced on foreshore opposition

The man who could have been the next Maori MP says ACT is deliberately stirring up racial divisions in a desperate attempt to win votes.

Peter Tashkoff from Te Mahurehure and Te Aitanga a Hauiti was next on the ACT Party list to come into parliament, until he was thrown out of the party for repeated attacks on leader Rodney Hide.

He says he joined the party early on because he thought its policies could make a difference to the lives of Maori people, but under Mr Hide it has swapped principle for populism, constantly looking for the silver bullet policy that will deliver more votes.

“The foreshore and seabed is just another silver bullet they are trying to hang something off and they’re becoming quite schizophrenic when they do it because on the one hand they say ‘we totally promote property rights and we just want to give Maori their day in court,’ and then in front of a different audience they’ll start stirring up all this racial divisiveness about ‘they’re going to take your beaches,’” Mr Tashkoff says.

Like ACT he believes the Foreshore and Seabed Act should be repealed and Maori given the right to go back to court, but unlike his former party colleagues he believes Maori would succeed in winning common law property rights through that process.


One of the curators of a display of early Maori pen-work says the Maori role in shaping New Zealand's history is often overlooked.

The exhibition, which is on this week at Auckland City Library, came out of Marsden Fund research into early Maori literacy being done by Kuni Jenkins from Te Whare Wananga o Awanuiarangi and Alison Jones from Auckland University's department of education.

Professor Jenkins says while the bulk of pre-1840 documents relating to New Zealand were written by Europeans, Maori viewers in particular are excited by seeing the handiwork of tupuna like Hongi Hika.


The author of a new book on Maori potatoes says there has been a real resurgence of interest in the humble taewa.

Massey University horticulturalist Nick Roskruge, the chair of the Tahuri Whenua national Maori vegetable growers collective, says growers find it hard to meet demand.

He says the book, done in association with the Institute of Natural Resources, should help people avoid the more than 50 types of pests and diseases which can afflict potato crops.

“One of the problems we found was the old varieties people had kept in their home gardens had health problems, so a lot of our mahi in the last few years has been looking art what those health problems are and trying to help growers overcome them,” Dr Roskruge says.


Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says the replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act should be sent back to the drawing board.

The Tai Tokerau MP yesterday made a submission on the Marine and Coastal Area Bil to the select committee he has been stood down from.

He wants an expert panel put together to develop fresh recommendations, including people such as former Waitangi Tribunal chair Sir Edward Durie, who headed a previous review of the Act, law consultant Moana Jackson, and former National cabinet minister Sir Doug Kidd.

“They should be casting around on the basis of what’s the right thing to do, not on the basis of what’s politically acceptable, and then just come back and say ‘this is what we recommend be done.’ Because I’m a firm believer if this issue is settled on the basis of justice, Maori will be well served. If it is settled on the basis of political expedience, we will get shafted, and that’s kind of what’s happening right now,” Mr Harawira says.


National list MP Hekia Parata says her experience as a senior Maori bureaucrat is good preparation for her new role as a minister, but there's no substitute for the real thing.

After her strong showing in the Mana by-election, Ms Parata was picked to take over the Women’s and Ethnic Affairs portfolios previously held by Pansy Wong, who quit as minister for breaking rules about ministerial travel expenses.

She has served a number of ministers in both Labour and National administrations through her work in the housing, Maori affairs and justice ministries.

“I was familiar with the process, the machinery of government but it has been quite a different thing to be a member of parliament, to sit on select committees, to participate in the debates in the health and I thoroughly enjoy all aspects of it and yes I am here for the foreseeable future,” Ms Parata says.

She will also hold associate warrants for Energy and Resources, Accident Compensation, and the Community and Voluntary sector.


The kaitiaki of the Kaikoura coastal fishery are welcoming a decision to beef up fisheries surveillance in the area.

John Nicholls, the chair of Te Korowai o te Tai Marokura, says that should deter paua poachers who have plundered the 30 kilometers of accessible coastline in recent years.

He says the decision on the Minister of Fisheries, Phil Heatley, to open an office at Kaikoura for two full time officers and five honorary fisheries officers should deter them.

He says more reports are coming from the public, and as people become confident their reports will be acted on they are more likely to phone in when they see suspicious activity from the coast road.

Mr Nicholls says some parts of the coast have been completely stripped of paua and will need to be reseeded.

Attorney General says bill offers best of both worlds

Attorney General Chris Finlayson has defended the ability of the High Court to sort out whether individual Maori groups have customary rights to areas of the foreshore and seabed

Ngati Kahu negotiator Margaret Mutu says her far north runanga won't be using the mechanism in the Marine and Coastal Area Bill because Pakeha high court judges don't have training in things Maori.

Mr Finlayson says Professor Mutu's disparaging comments about the judiciary ignore the significant work Pakeha judges have done in recognising Maori rights.

He says they won't do the job alone.

“If you've got an application to the High Court for an issue to determine customary title and there are issues of tikanga, the judge can have recourse to an expert or refer an issue to the Maori Land Court so it’s all there, we’ve got the best of both worlds, and it really is quite unhelpful and destructive to come out with those sorts of headline,” Mr Finlayson says.

He says Professor Mutu's comments were on par with the statements of the Coastal Coalition, who he earlier referred to as clowns.


Meanwhile, Coastal Coalition founder Muriel Newman says Maori have little chance of winning title to coastal areas through the courts ... so that's where they should go, rather than being allowed to cut deals with ministers behind closed doors.

The former ACT MP yesterday made a submission on the Marine and Coastal Bill to the Maori affairs select committee in Whangarei.

She says the bill is a dog's breakfast, and the Government should simply repeal the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act and let the courts decide.

Dr Newman says the Court of Appeal's Ngati Apa decision in 2003 made it clear most customary titles had been extinguished by the Maori Land Court.

“They said that it would be a hard job for any iwi to claim it and they also said that it would be more likely to be small discrete areas, reefs and rocks and shellfish beds and things like that,” Dr Newman says.


Maori communities are concerned a disease killing off juvenile oysters could affect their livelihoods.

Tom Hollings, the executive officer of the Oyster Association, says the mystery disease which has destroyed up to half the farmed oyster harvest in harbours from the Bay of Plenty to the far north.

He says it's become a big part of the Maori economy in many areas such as Parengarenga.

The disease doesn't seem to affect people who eat the oysters.


The Kahui Ariki representative on Tainui's parliament says King Tuheitia had little option than to sack its chair, Tania Martin.

Greg Miller has been appointed acting chair of te Kauhanganui, and he is also on the tribal executive, Te Ara Taura.

Mr Miller says Mrs Martin had failed to apologise for a report attacking the executive's spending, despite acknowledging significant errors.

He says Mrs Martin's intention to conduct an internal governance review was the last straw.

“The king's sticking to a review of the constitution and the financial performance of Te Kauhanganui and Te Ara Taura which is a good thing and it’s welcomed by Te Ara Taura but it’s a difficult situation when the chair is pushing information out that’s not correct and expecting to chair that review so that’s not a real possibility, so that’s why the king stepped in and said I want to bring some order to this,” Mr Miller says.

An independent governance review will be conducted by retired Maori land Court judge Heta Hingston and professional director Craig Ellison.


Treaty Negotiations minister Chris Finlayson says it's important that a treaty settlement for far north iwi be concluded as soon as possible.

A Ngati Kahu group lifted its occupation of a coastal section at Taipa yesterday, removing what could have been an obstacle to settlement.

Mr Finlayson says he toured the Ngati Kahu rohe with lead negotiator Margaret Mutu soon after taking on the treaty role, and saw first hand and saw the run down marae, houses with no proper insulation and inadequate water.

“I know that a good treaty settlement is going to do wonders up there. In fact I said to Margaret at the beginning of last year, you don’t need to wait on the treaty settlement because you can get access to marae development funds, we could get some of your guys trained up as carpenters and we could get in there and do it straight away. No one’s ever come back to me,” Mr Finlayson says.


After two decades of battling through the courts, Rangitane and Ngai Tahu have called a truce on a dispute over customary rights to parts of the top of the South Island.

Rangitane negotiator Richard Bradley says the accord was announced during the signing of his tribe's $25 million deed of settlement with the Crown at at Omaka marae near Blenheim on Saturday.

He says Ngai Tahu chair Mark Solomon was able to offer some welcome lessons from his own tribe's settlement.

“He was quite clear that what settlements are about is giving our people a hand up, not a hand out and the Crown still has responsibilities. Those mainstream government departments with programmes like Whanau Ora, to actually start distributing some of the investments that Maori people have made as taxpayers into those communities,” Mr Bradley says.

Rangitane's settlement includes an acknowledgement from the Crown that Rangitane had taken a smaller settlement because of the current economic situation.

Monday, December 06, 2010

King sacks head of Tainui parliament

King Tuheitia has sacked the chair of the Tainui parliament and installed his Kahui Ariki representative, Greg Miller, as the acting chair of Te Kauhanganui.

Mr Miller says Tania Martin had admitted that a report she wrote attacking the financial performance of the tribal executive, Te Ara Taura, was factually inaccurate, but she had failed to issue an apology.

He says the king has lost confidence in Mrs Martin's ability to chair the parliament.

“He doesn't believe that she has the confidence to take the tribe forward and she had made commitments to him prior to him taking that role on taking the tribe forward and ensuring Te Kauhanganui’s role was seen in tandem and consultation with the chair of Te Ara Taura. That didn’t happen. She did exactly the opposite to that. So it’s a confidence issue that he’s asked me to step in and chair the next meeting,” Mr Miller says.

King Tuheitia has asked retired maori Land Court judge Heta Hingston and professional director Craig Ellison to conduct an independent review of Tainui's constitution and governance processes and an audit of the financial performance of both the executive and the parliament.


Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson is rejecting calls that he break off talks with Ngati Kahu because of its negotiator's support for the occupation of land at Taipa.

The Ngati Kahu Runanga chair, Margaret Mutu, says the younger generation has a right to fight for what she could not get in the agreement on principle which is currently on the table.

Far north mayor Wayne Brown says that's intolerable, and making the end of the occupation a condition of continuing negotiations is a way forward.

But Mr Finlayson says it won't happen.

“We're talking about a relatively small element who are just doing immense harm to the iwi and I just really want to get a good settlement up there for all the Te Hiku iwi because I think an injection of funds up there, and their getting the ability to have a say in the running of the conservation estate and so on, it is going to be so good,” he says.


An Auckland University law professor is warning that the Trans-Pacific Partnership being negotiated this week in Auckland is a threat to Maori rights under the Treaty of Waitangi.

The United States, Australia and three other countries are trying to join New Zealand, Brunei, Chile and Singapore in the multi-lateral trade agreement.

Jane Kelsey says the sorts of conditions that US business interests want included is a threat to New Zealand's sovereignty and the tino rangatiratanga of Maori.

“In this context we end up with an international treaty that’s basically a bill of rights for foreign investors that would trump Te Tiriti o Waitangi and any other rights that Maori have been struggling for for 160 years,” Professor Kelsey says.


Attorney general Chris Finlayson is rejecting a call by former ACT MP Muriel Newman that he step aside from the Foreshore and Seabed Act reform because he described her Coastal Coalition lobby group as "clowns".

In online articles, Mrs Newman has argued that Maori don't have customary rights because other people including Celtic, Chinese, Greek, French, Portuguese, Spanish and others were here first.

Mr Finlayson says there is argument in reputable forums that specific Maori groups retain traditional rights in some parts of the coast, and his task is to find a mechanism to recognise them properly.

“Customary title was there. It’s a question of determining where it is and who should be entitled to it. So, for all the noise and for all the ad hominem attacks by people like Muriel Newman I’m trying to stay focused on the big issues of principle,” Mr Finlayson says.

He is planning public meetings to counter Mrs Newman's claims.

Muriel Newman told the Maori affairs select committee in Whangarei today that the Marine and Coastal Area Bill would confiscate coastal land from public ownership so it can be transferred to iwi.


The negotiator for a top of the South Island iwi says the size of the settlement acknowledges the tough economic times.

Rangitane signed off on its $25 million package at Omaka Marae near Blenheim on Saturday.

Richard Bradley says that's a fraction of what the iwi lost in pre-1865 land transactions, when the Crown ignored its customary rights in favour of other tribes, but it was a tough time to negotiate.

“Somehow there is an expectation on behalf of middle New Zealand that we would take less than we were entitled to for the good of all New Zealanders. That sort of choked me because South Canterbury Finance didn’t have any problem finding the taxpayer support to bail them out for substantially more than Rangitane was seeking,” he says.

Mr Bradley says Rangitane sees the settlement as a platform for its future development.


The Maori Sportswomen of the Year, squash player Joelle King, is heading to Canada to work with another former winner.

Glen Wilson, who won the teams title with Leilani Rorani in the 2000 awards, is now head coach at a Montreal club.

Ms King, from Ngati porou, says she's hoping he can help her improve her work ranking from the current number 17 into the top ten.

Joelle King won her title for her gold and silver Commonwealth Games performance, but she was unable to repeat that form at this weekend's Women's World Championships in Palmerston North, where New Zealand was beaten into fourth by Malaysia.

Courts not up to Ngati Kahu standard

The lead negotiator for the tribe occupying a coastal land at Taipa in the Far North says it will be a waste of time going to court to test customary title under the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

Restoring access to the courts is one of the main reasons the Maori Party is giving for backing the bill, which is currently being considered by a select committee.

But Margaret Mutu, a professor of Maori studies at Auckland University, says her Ngati Kahu Runanga won't be going there.

“The high court knows nothing and in particular the judges in the high court, apart from the fact that they are Pakeha, the truth of the matter is they have never had any training in anything Maori, so how the hell can you expect them to get it right. They’ve not been trained. They’ve been trained for a particular job which is to carry out Pakeha law,” she says.

Professor Mutu says the right court would be the Maori land Court, as long as it does not question the tikanga or customs of individual hapu.


The author of a book on Maori potatoes says imported pests and diseases are devastating the taewa harvest, just at the time demand is growing.

Nick Roskruge says a lot of work has been done in recent years to breed out viruses which were weakening old varieties of potato that had been kept going by home gardeners.

The Massey University horticulturalist says there are now new threats.

“Also now you’ve got these pests coming in, you’ve got the biosecurity problems with new pests, you’ve got this potato cylid which is around the whole North Island now, and some of the crops are 80 percent down just because these pests bring a bacteria that stops the plants producing the crop,” says Dr Roskruge, whose book is Nga Porearea me nga Matemate o nga Mara Taewa - Pests and diseases of Taewa.


Maori rugby legend Bill Bush wants the Springboks to play against the New Zealand Maori as a warm up to next year's rugby world cup.

The South African Rugby Union has changed its policy of not allowing the Springboks to play racial selected sides, clearing the way for the much anticipated clash with the Maori team.

Bill Bush says its a pity the decision wasn’t made earlier so the Boks could have joined this year’s celebration of 100 years of Maori rugby … but all will be forgiven if they fit a game in before the World Cup.

He says the game should be played at the right venue, Turangawaewae Marae, with all the players and families of past players involved.

Bill Bush says the Springboks are such a class side that All Black coach Graham Henry should release his top Maori players to use it as a warm-up.


A winger and a squash player were the big winners at this year’s National Maori Sports Awards.

This year’s winner of the top men’s award was Hosea Gear from Ngati Porou, with squash player Joelle King the senior women for her gold and silver medal wining efforts at to Commonwealth Game.

Team of the year was the Maori All Blacks, with Steve Kearney taking out the best coach award for the Kiwis Four Nations’ Cup win.


Diabetes New Zealand says district health boards are slashing diabetes services at the very time they should be doing more.

President Chris Baty says the number of people with type 2 diabetes has doubled in a decade to 200,000, with a disproportionate number of those being Maori.

She says the impact of untreated diabetes includes kidney failure, amputation, blindness and early heart disease, which will add cost to the health sector.

“Diabetes is one of the markets of lack of equity of access to good health care and I think it’s particularly reflected amongst Maori and Pasifika. One in three or four older Maori or Pasifika people are gong to probably have diabetes, and we need to help keep them well.” Dr Baty says.

A recent OECD report found New Zealand was the second worst among nations studied for lives cut short by diabetes.


The author of a new book on Stewart Island says for a large part of the past 700 years it has been a Maori history.

Neville Peat wrote Rakiura Heritage for the Department of Conservation.

He says Rakiura may have been one of the first parts of Aotearoa to be settled.

He says archeologists continue to find sites of great interests.

Neville Peat says the awarding of 10,000 hectares under the 1906 South Island Landless Natives Act means Maori are now the biggest landowners next to the Conservation Department, whose National park covers 90 percent of the island.