Waatea News Update

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Aotearoa Fisheries pays maiden dividend

Maori-owned Aotearoa Fisheries has paid its first dividend to iwi shareholders.

Aotearoa Fisheries represents the big compromise at the heart of the deal which ended debate over allocation of Maori fisheries settlement assets.

Rather than break up all the assets and divvy them among the tribes, the half share in Sealord and the other fishing companies, including inshore fishing company Moana Pacific, paua exporter Prepared Foods, and oyster producers Kia Ora Seafoods and Pacific Marine Farms, were put under a single umbrella.

Aotearoa Fisheries was given six years to reinvest profits to build up a stable and growing business, but now it has to pay dividends based on an ambitious rate of return.

Over the past year it made a profit of $18.9 million despite difficult trading conditions.

It declared a dividend of $9.4 million, resulting in an after tax payment of $7.5M to the 52 iwi shareholders and Te Ohu Kaimonana Trustee, which is holding the money for the four iwi yet to finalise mandates.

The dividend will help iwi put a value on their shares, and reinforce the sense of collective solidarity that part of the settlement aimed to achieve.


List MP Shane Jones says Labour intends to win back Maori voters with practical ideas rather than meaningless symbols.

He says its policies will focus on real issues for Maori families like jobs and the cost of living.

He says big issues like the foreshore and seabed can turn into distractions.


Soldier turned government troubleshooter Sir Wira Gardiner has been working with fellow Vietnam veterans on a history of his old unit.

Sir Wira, who has previously written a history of the Maori Battalion, was a Lieutenant Colonel with Victor 4 company during the late 1960s.

He says the book will show the War from a soldier’s perspective, and it will be ready for the company’s reunion in the Bay of Islands in April.

Sir Wira is also writing a book on Maori leadership.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is planning another Maori economic summit.

He says the hui, which is likely to happen in March, will mark the end of the work of his current economic taskforce.

It could also mark the start of a new Maori business organisation which will allow iwi to have a say.


Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi says the time is right for Maori to have their right to minerals tested in an international court.

He says this week’s Waitangi Tribunal recommendation that Maori be given a say in petroleum exploration is a challenge to the Crown’s assumption it owns the resource.

He says the Northland claims now being heard by the tribunal have thrown up evidence about sovereignty which could help any Maori case in an international forum.


Kenana Te Ranginui trust in the far north is celebrating a Maori Land Court decision acknowledging ownership of an old hand-adzed waka discovered in the Oruaiti river which drains into Monganui harbour in 2007.

The court has ruled the waka belongs to Te Matarahurahu hapu of ngati kahu with the marae having kaitiaki responsibility.

Marae trustee Reremoana Renata who has been fighting for ownership against a collector says waka builder Hek Busby visited with Sir Graham Latimer and confirmed the waka was theirs.

On Hek Busby's advice they reburied the waka in mud wrapped in polythene.

She said members of Fred Broughton's whanau are working with the Trust to decide the waka's future.

Settlement saves inquiry cost

Waitangi Tribunal member Sir Doug Kidd says the $110 Ngati Porou settlement saves the tribunal the cost of running a major inquiry.

The former Maori affairs minister was not on the panel set down to hear the claims, but he was at parliament on Wednesday to witness the signing of the deed negotiated by Te Runanga on Ngati Porou.

He says like the Tainui settlement, it’s possible to resolve treaty grievances without going through the full tribunal process.

“That’s another case of what was going to be a major tribunal inquiry made necessary because parties have progressed through to acceptance of a deal and it was lovely to be there really as a spectator for something of a triumph for those people,” Sir Doug says.

Meanwhile, Te Aitanga a Hauiti claimants are refusing to accept their claims should be included in the Ngati Porou settlement, and say they want a separate hearing.


A researcher says into child homicide says poverty is a common factor in abuse cases.

Rawiri Taonui stepped down as head of Maori and ethnic studies at Canterbury University to finish a book on the subject.

He says recent cases such as the sadistic abuse of a Waitakere 9-year-old and the death this week of a Hawkes Bay 5-year-old fit with a historical pattern linking economic hardship to family violence.

“During the 1990s after the impact of Rogernomics, Maori child homicide increased hugely, but as the country went through an economic recovery in the early part of this century Maori child homicide was dropping faster than the decline in the overall rate,” Mr Taonui says.


Former world discuss champion Beatrice Faumuina says the door is open to Maori who want to be part of a new initiative aimed at developing leaders.

The 36-year-old Olympian has been chosen to head the Best Pasifika Leadership Academy and Charitable foundation, a spin-off from a long established south Auckland private training establishment.

She says the new leadership diploma will challenge students individually, as well as focus on culture and team work.

She says Maori and Pasifika people love working in groups, and the programme uses that to its advantage.


Mangai board Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples is expecting some fresh thinking from his new appointees to the Maori broadcast funding agency.

Academic and former bureaucrat Piri Sciascia from Ngati Kuhungunu becomes the chair of Te Mangai Paho, replacing former Maori Women’s Welfare League president Jacqui Te Kani.

He will be joined by educationalist Toni Waho, former broadcasters Hinemoa Elder and Gabrielle Huria, and business consultant Taria Tahana, with Gina Rangi the only carry-over from the previous board.
Dr Sharples says the decisions of Rev Maurice Gray and Parekawhia McLean to decline reappointment paved the way for a comprehensive change.

“Once people have done a couple of seasons it’s good to introduce somebody else to give them a turn, because there’s a lot of people who’re on boards and they’re the same people who go from board to board but that’s fine but most of them I’ve replaced have doen at least two terms,” Dr Sharples says.


The director of Maori child advocacy organisation Te Kahui Mana Ririki says whanau ora may be the great hope for stopping domestic violence in the Maori community.

Anton Blank says Maori need to step in when they see the kind of abuse meted out to a 9-year-old Waitakere girl whose parents are now up on charges.

He says it’s a textbook case of what can go wrong under the existing social service delivery models.

“We’re getting the same lessons from this case. I guess in terms of whanau ora, there is hope in that in terms of developing wraparound services and closing the gaps,” Mr Blank says.


Academic Rawiri Taonui is swapping his laptop for a pair of mountain hiking boots over the summer.

The Christchurch based educator is taking a break from his research on traditional Maori child rearing practices to retrace the footsteps of Rakaihautu.

The Ngai Tahu ancestor is believed to have walked from Nelson to Bluff and back to Banks Peninsula, leaving the great southern lakes in his footprints.

Rawiri Taonui says this summer’s leg will include about 500km of the 3000km route, and take in the mountains behind Kaikoura and south of Mt Aspiring.

Rule change benefits 2Degrees

Good news today for the Maori investors in mobile phone company Two Degrees.

The Commerce Commission says it intends to set the wholesale cost of calls from fixed to mobile networks at 4.6 cents per minute, and text traffic on a bill and keep basis, with zero charge between networks.

Maori spectrum claimants and their business partners have been advocating for this kind of regulation for almost a decade.

The Commerce Commission’s intervention should remove what the start-up company has argued is a major barrier to winning market share from Vodafone and Telecom ... the fact the incumbents could lock in customers through big price differences between calls or texts on their own networks and those to competitors.

Maori, under the umbrella of Hautaki Ltd, had the right to own up to 20 percent of two Degrees because of the 3G spectrum they brought to the company as a result of treaty claims.

But that stake has been diluted to just over 10 percent because Hautaki did not have the cash to keep up with the growing business, as uncertainty over the competitive landscape made it hard to attract new Maori investors.

The prospect of a level playing field means the path to profitability just got smoother . . . and Maori trusts and iwi may finally get out their cheque books.


Child abuse researcher Rawiri Taonui says impoverishment from colonisation and urbanisation is major factor in a higher rate of domestic violence among Maori.

The former head of Maori and ethnic studies at Canterbury University says earlier in the decade the rate of Maori child homicide dropped markedly.

But he says the recession has brought violence levels back to the levels of the Rogernomics era, as Maori families are harder hit by the economic downturn.

“Because of colonisation, the urbanisation of Maori and the sort of cumulative inter-generational impact of those experiences, a differential proportion of Maori are impoverished so you have this twin dynamic working together; impoverishment and not our ethnicity but our colonised experience coming together in a differential child homicide rate,” Mr Taonui says.

The trend is similar in low income communities around the world.


King Country shearer Stacey Te Huia wasn't going to let a power cut stop him smashing the world eight-hour ewe-shearing record yesterday.

The 32-year-old missed the record by just five sheep last January, and he had a sinking feeling when the lines went dead at Moketenui Station between Te Kuiti and Benneydale yesterday, just as he was about to start his final two-hour session.

But Shearing Sports New Zealand spokesperson Doug Laing says it was going to take more than this to break Te Huia, who trained for the attempt by shearing for 79 days in a row in Western Australia.

Linesmen detected and fixed a fault on a power pole, and the attempt restarted 40 minutes late.

The new record of 603 is 25 better than the total set by Ruawai shearer Matthew Smith earlier in the year


A far North leader is expecting the Government to fight a Waitangi Tribunal recommendation that Maori have more say in mineral exploration.

A new report on the Management of the Petroleum Resource found systemic failure to heed Maori concerns, and built on a 2003 report that found some Maori may have a treaty interest in oil.

Te Rarawa chair Haami Piripi says high handed treatment from officials that Taranaki claimants complained about has also been experienced by northern iwi concerned at propecting in the rohe and off their beaches.

“I think the government has really set itself on a course of conflict with iwi unless it acknowledges some kind of customary interest of customary right associated with these minerals because the days of carrying on with their business and ignoring us are over. We will take this matter as far as we can possibly take it because this is a very important issue to us and it’s as much about our future as it is about the country’s future,” Mr Piripi says.

Te Rarawa and other iwi are willing to go to the World Court to asset its right to the petroleum resource.


Christmas cheer has come to Ratana Pa near Whanganui, with the government's decision to fund a $2.7 million upgrade of the settlement’s housing stock.

Adrian Rurawhe from the Ratana Ahuwhenua Trust says the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority will repair and insulate about 100 of the 115 existing houses.

The grant will also cover the costs of getting 8 hectare of donated rural land rezoned residential for as many as 60 houses.

“Our population is aging and the young ones that have to move away from the pa to get a home generally move to Whanganui so we don’t want our people to leave and so if we provide opportunity for new housing they will stay,” Mr Rurawhe says.

The project will provide much-needed jobs for local people.


The new executive chef at Rotorua’s Hamurana Lodge says growing up hungry pushed him to learn more about food.

23 year old Charlie Brown of Tuhoe and Whakatohea grew up in South Auckland, and got his start in the food business through the innovative hospitality programme at Papakura High School.

He says he was inspired by what he didn’t have.

He intends to bring a Maori flavour to the country's first and only organic lodge restaurant, creating menus sourced entirely from local produce and including native vegetables and flavourings.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Ngati Porou settlement finalised

Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia is congratulating Treaty Settlement's minister Chris Finlayson on a job well done in settling the Ngati Porou claim.

More than 2000 members if the East Coast iwi were at Parliament yesterday to witness signing of a deed of settlement which delivers financial redress of $110 million, the return of almost 6000 hectares of land with high cultural significance, the Ruatoria and Tokomaru forest lands and partnership arrangements giving the iwi a greater say in resource management, economic development and the delivery of social services in its rohe.

Mr Horomia says he’s glad to see the process started under Labour come to an end.

“It doesn't matter in my mind who finishes and I do pay respect to the minister for finish it off and it’s a job well done,” he says.


The Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says dropping MMP would be disastrous for Maori.

Ms Turei says the way the Government has structured its constitutional review shows the National Party’s bias against the mixed member proportional voting system.

She says that system has returned more MPs from across the political spectrum than was achieved under first past the post voting.

“If we lost MMP, for Maori it would not only mean losing list MPs but I think eventually National would get rid of Maori seats as well so I think it puts the whole issue of Maori representation at risk,” she says.

Ms Turei says the current system also means Maori candidates are starting to get selected in winnable general seats.


The chair of Hato Paora says the Feilding-based Maori boys’ boarding school will benefit from the educational experience of its new principal.

Debi Marshall Lobb has been acting principal since former principal Elvis Shepherd was suspended because of historic sex abuse allegations.

Peter Douglas says her past experience as a lecturer in Maori studies a Massey University and running a Palmerston North kura kaupapa has proved invaluable.


Former National cabinet minister Sir Doug Kidd says treaty settlements are transforming New Zealand in a wonderful way.

Sir Doug, who attended yesterday's signing in Parliament of a $110 million settlement with East Coast iwi Ngati Porou, has been reappointed for a further term on the Waitangi Tribunal.

He says progress over the past two decades is allowing the country to move beyond grievance.

“Our work is sort of disappearing as iwis momentum to negotiate with government increases. That’s good of course. The sooner these things move to settlement and the iwi can get out of grievance ad move into development, the better for them and the better for the whole country,” Sir Doug says.

Historian Ann Parsonson was reappointed for a fourth term on the tribunal, and the tribunal’s chief historian, Grant Phillipson, was appointed a tribunal member.


Labour leader Phil Goff says rising unemployment is a factor in rising levels of Maori child abuse and domestic violence.

Mr Goff says while child abuse can’t be excused under any circumstances, financial pressure increases household tension.

He says government inaction is having an impact on families.

Phil Goff says reducing beating unemployment is one of a range of actions needed to stop the kind of violence suffered by a Waitakere nine-year-old whose parents came before the court this week.


The grand daughter of a Maori Battalion member says finding his medals is a real miracle.

Shelly Rua from Stokes Valley was aware from photographs the late Private "Bullet" Temata Rua had been honoured with medals, but the family did not know what had become of them.

That changed when she spotted a newspaper advertisement lodged by detective constable Ian Burns, who was trying to identify four medals found among a trove of stolen goods at a Lower Hutt address.

Sherry Rua says the medals will be put into a carved box to shared around the whanau.

Systemic flaws block Maori from oil say

The Waitangi Tribunal has found systemic flaws in the way New Zealand manages petroleum exploration and extraction.

The Report on the Management of the Petroleum Resource follows the tribunal’s 2003 petroleum ownership report, which found Taranaki and other tribes still had a treaty interest in the resource because of the way their land was taken from them.

In this latest report, the Tribunal says while in theory iwi are supposed to have a say in resource management, decision makers minimise the Maori interest and their objections are inevitably over-ruled.

Its recommendations include: changing the Crown Minerals Act to end compulsory access to Maori land for petroleum activities;
- having full cultural impact assessments done under the ACT when iwi ask for land to be excluded, rather than having the decision made unilaterally by an official in the Ministry of Economic Development;
-And using petroleum royalties in Treaty settlements,

It also recommended a Treaty Commissioner be appointed, similar to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, to monitor how local government is liaising with Maori and to ensure Treaty principles are being adhered to under the Resource Management Act.

The tribunal says it’s releasing its report early in an attempt to influence the current review of the Crown Minerals Act.


Labour leader Phil Goff is blaming government inaction for pre-Christmas lay-offs in the timber industry.

In the past couple of weeks more than 150 predominantly Maori timber workers have been laid off from mills in Ohakune, Poverty Bay and Kawerau.

Mr Goff says the government has a role to play evening out the highs and lows of the building industry … and there are currently about 7000 houses less a year being built than is needed.

"The government's got to have a better plan for he timber industry. One of the things that would have helped is if the Government had taken steps to try to keep the building and construction industry going this year,” he says.

Mr Goff says when there is an economic upturn, the increased demand for housing won’t be met because there won’t be the people to process the timber and the tradespeople will have gone to Australia.


A new campaign warning parents not to shake babies has a particular focus on Maori.

Starship paediatrician Patrick Kelly says 20 babies a year are admitted to hospital with serious injuries from shaking.

Four or five will die and the others are likely to have permanent brain damage.

He says for every reported incident, there may be as many as 150 other cases … and the problem is particularly serious among Maori.

“Unfortunately in New Zealand the rate among Maori is particularly high, in fact it’s one of the highest in the world, so although it’s an issue we have to address among all parents I think it’s particularly important we do it properly among the Maori community,” Dr Kelly says.

Mothers need to be wary of leaving their babies in the care of men who have a tendency to lose their tempers.


A Taranaki claimant says a Waitangi Tribunal report on management of petroleum resources vindicates her claim.

The tribunal confirmed its earlier finding that some Maori may have a treaty interest in oil and gas despite their being nationalised in 1937.

It recommended changes to the Crown Minerals Act and the Resource Management Act to give Maori more say, and suggested that greater Maori participation be funded out of royalties or by charging resource consent applicants.

Daisy Noble from Ngaruahine says the report has implications not just for Taranaki but for iwi in Taitokerau and Tairawhiti which are being opened up for exploration.

“This report is very timely because although Taranaki was used as the basis of the claim, the exploration industry is all over the country. Let’s hope the Crown does take note of those recommendations,” Ms Noble says.

Claimants will meet with Crown officials early in the new year to consider the next step.


A leading health official says turning around Maori cancer survival rates will take a lot of work.

The latest Ministry of Health figures shows only 43 percent of Maori will still be alive five years after they are diagnosed with a cancer, compared to 62 percent of non-Maori.

John Childs, the ministry’s national clinical director, says much of the gap can be attributed to higher Maori rates of lung cancer.

The good thing is you look at the trends, the survival has improved over the past decade.

Dr Child says early diagnosis is a major factor in the chance of surviving cancer, and Maori are often reluctant to get check ups.


Auckland City Mission organiser Wilf Holt says many Maori are among those moat needing help to get through the Christmas period.

Mr Holt, of Ngai Tahu decent, says many Maori families in the city don’t have whanau support.

He says the mission urgently needs food donations to keep up with unprecedented demand.

Food and money donations can be dropped off at any branch of the ASB.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Redundancies blight Christmas cheer

The Council of Trade Unions’ Maori vice-president says Christmas is going to be anything but a festive for more than 150 Maori timber workers laid off this.

Winstone Pulp International laid off 80 workers from its Tangiwai mill near Ohakune, 30 jobs went from the Prime sawmill at Matawhero near Gisborne and 26 from Carter Holt's Kawerau mill.

Syd Kepa says the high dollar is hurting export sales, and the workers are paying the cost, and they are unlikely to get full time jobs in the area.


Wainuiomata-raised Paul Whatuira is heading back from three years with English Super League team Huddersfield for a season with the Parramatta Eels.

Former Kiwi captain Ritchie Barnett says it’s an astute choice by the Eels’ Steve Kearney, named coach of the year at this year’s Maori Sports Awards.

He says the team has lost some experienced players, and with two NRL championship rings, 16 tests and almost 200 first grade games behind him, the 29-year-old Whatuira can fill the gap nicely.


Former Kai Time on the Road host Kingi Biddle says his mouth is watering at the thought of all the kai he can try at the next Kawhia Traditional Maori Kai Festival.

The Waitangi weekend event attracts close to 10,000 people to the Waikato coaatal settlement, drawn by traditional delicacies like pikopiko, riwai maori bread, and kaanga pirau, fermented corn.

The Ngai Tuhoe DJ will be master of ceremonies at the distinctly Maori foodies event, and he's looking forward to his first visit to the ancestral home of his wife’s Tainui people.

The Kawhia Traditional Kai Festival is on February 5.


A former head girl of St Joseph’s Maori Girl’s College has been appointed principal of another Maori boarding school … Hato Paora near Feilding.

Debi Marshall Lobb has been acting principal of the boy’s school since former principal Elvis Shephard was arrested on historic sex abuse charges at another school, for which he is currently serving a prison sentence.

Ms Lobb says her brothers attended the school, and being the first woman to head Maori Boys boarding school has not been a problem.

She has also lectured in Maori studies at Massey University and been tumuaki at Kura Kaupapa Maori o Manuwatu for ten years


The organiser of a hui in Whakatane next month on the sustainable use of natural resources says it’s attracting worldwide interest.

Aroha Mead from Ngati Awa says speakers include native American activist Winona LaDuke, who ran for vice president on Ralph Nader’s Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000.

She says more than half the 200 registrations are from overseas.

“It’s trying to bring to New Zealand a discussion we sorely need on he governance of natural resources and ways we can have a much more participatory approach to conservation than we currently have,” Ms Mead says.

The hui starts on January 11.


Boaties and kaimoana gatherers are being urged to be safety conscious over the summer break.

Jim Lott the manager of recreational and small craft for Maritime New Zealand, says Maori are over represented in drownings each year, and most accidents occur through not following simple rules.

He says urbanisation means many Maori don’t develop the water skills of previous generations, and they’re not just using their boats for pleasure but to gather kai, and they may take unnecessary risks.

Mr Stott says it's imperative accurate weather forecasts, communications and safety equipment are available on all craft.

Whanganui claimants seek unique settlement

Whanganui River claimants say they don’t want the same co-management deal included in other settlements.

Negotiator Gerard Albert says the Whanganui River Maori Trust Board doesn’t want to share management with local authorities, asis the case with the Waikato river.

He says it wants a deal which reflects the iwi's principles, values and long-held tupuna rights.

Mr Albert says the government has not responded to the proposal.


The Council of Trade Unions wants the Government to do more to help timber industry workers.

Maori vice-president Syd Kepa says almost all the 150 workers made redundant this month at mills at Tangiwai, Matawhero and Kawerau were Maori.

The lay-offs come on top of 330 jobs lost earlier this year at Putaruru and Fletcher Building’s three Auckland sites.

“The government should get involved in this, particularly that taskforce that was set up by the Minister of Maori Affairs to look at ways and means of retaining jobs. I’m not talking about creating jobs. I’m talking about retaining jobs in those industries.
Mr Kepa says.

He says the Government has come to the rescue of finance company investors and farmers, so it should do the same for timber workers.


The director of Maori child advocacy organisation Te Kahui Mana Ririki says whanau must speak out when they see children being abused.

Anton Blank says one of the most troubling aspects of a case where a West Auckland nine-year-old girl was subjected to sadistic abuse by a parent was the number of adults who were aware but said nothing.

He says that’s been the pattern in abuse cases for far too long.

“The patterns are always the same, that there has been multiple agency involvement, there has been large numbers of adults around this child, and family members around this child and still we see this repeated failure to act,” Mr Blank says.

He says whanau ora providers need to consider the sort of wrap around services for families which might detect and prevent such abuse.


A leading anti-apartheid campaigner says the late Tom Newnham inspired generations of New Zealanders to fight against racism wherever they saw it.

The long-serving secretary of the Citizens Association for Racial Equality died last week aged 84, and his life was celebrated at the Mount Eden War Memorial Hall this morning.

John Minto says Mr Newnham’s activism stemmed from what he saw as a teacher in Maori communities like Te Araroa on the East Coast, Pukekohe and Otara.

“And I think that gave him initially his empathy in working with Maori students, seeing the difficulties they faced within the system and that translated into his activist work which occurred outside of his teaching hours,” Mr Newnham says.

As well as his high profile campaigns against sporting tours to apartheid era South Africa, Tom Newnham fought issues such as Maori land rights and getting translators into hospitals.


Labour's Maori affairs spokesperson, Parekua Horomia, says the planned constitutional review must protect the status of Maori as tangata whenua.

The review, to be led by Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples and deputy Prime Minister Bill English, will look at issues such as the size of parliament, the future of the Maori seats and the place of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Mr Horomia says there is already a tendency in government agencies to minimise Maori influence, or to lump Maori in with Pacific Islanders on issues like health and education.

“Woe betide if it starts getting run together on every measure and you start diminishing that tangata whenua status and that there is a treaty in this country,” Mr Horomia says.


Chef Anne Thorp from Ngati Awa and Ngaiterangi is giving cruise ship passengers a taste of Aotearoa.

The host of Maori Television’s "Kaiora" cooking show is getting the feel of the galley on the Pacific Pearl, which is docked in its new home port of Auckland.

Ms Thorpe says she's thrilled at the opportunity, which includes preparing a degustation menu for a three day Hauraki Gulf mystery cruise.

Tonight passengers are in for fresh snapper and a beef ragout.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Turia open to Labour coalition

Maori party co-leader Tariana Turia is not ruling out working with Labour after the next election.

Mrs Turia says commentators who say she would never go into a coalition with Labour don’t understand politics.

She says the Maori Party has made gains with National in some areas but not in others, and it would be the same with Labour.

Mrs Turia says she was deeply hurt by some within Labour who labelled her a traitor when she quit in 2004 over the Foreshore and Seabed Act, but others understood what she was doing and remain friends.


And former Maori Affairs minister Parekura Horomia says Labour's door would not be closed to the Maori Party.

The Ikaroa Rawhiti MP says he has a good relationship the party’s MPs, even as he has disagreed with many of the positions they have taken in their coalition with National.

He says it will come down to numbers after the election.

But National list MP Georgina Te Heuheu says National is more of a natural ally for the Maori Party than Labour.

She says that’s borne out by the gains made in the current coalition, such as the whanau ora policy.


Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather says 2011 will be a time of truth for the broadcaster.

As lead free to air broadcaster for the Rugby World Cup, the service goes head to head with TVNZ for the opening ceremony, then gets exclusive free to air live rights for the first four and a half weeks of the six week competition.

He says it’s the biggest challenge in Maori Television's 7-year history.


One of the organisers of Ngati Porou’s digital strategy says more than a third of votes on the tribe’s treaty settlement were made electronically.

Te Rau Kupenga says the East Coast tribe wanted its people to have a say wherever they are.

He says while older members preferred postal voting, younger ones embraced the text and digital options.

The vote closed last week, and the settlement is expected to be signed this week.


One of the people who worked on drafting the UN Declaration of Indigenous Peoples Rights, Victoria University lecturer Aroha Mead says the signing of the agreement by the United States is welcome news to Maori.

Dr Mead says US president Barrack Obama's endorsement of declaration means that the four states which originally refused to sign ... New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the US ...have now agreed.

She says indigenous peoples around the world including Maori all said the excuses for not signing wouldn't hold up which has proved to be the case.

Talks continue on foreshore test

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the party is still negotiating to lower the criteria for Maori to claim customary title to the foreshore and seabed.

The tests in the Marine and Coastal Area Bill include a requirement for continued exclusive occupation or use since 1840.

Mrs Turia says it may be hard to sway National, given the pressure being whipped up by the ACT Party and the Coastal Coalition.

She says if the tests aren’t modified, the Maori Party will seek amendments once the bill is passed.


A Rotorua based television production company has been inundated with responses to a call for interesting Maori women.

Lara Northcroft from Velvet Stone says she's been amazed at some of the stories behind women put forward by their friends and families as subjects for a new Maori Television show called "I Know a Sheila Like That".


Ngati Porou lawyer Ta Rau Kupenga has been appointed to the Broadcasting Standards Authority.

The first Maori to join the Crown entity, he replaces Tapu Misa.

The host of Maori Television Maorioke music quest and a regular guest on the Men’s Panel on TVNZ’s Good Morning show says he’s looking forward to the role.


Native Affairs frontman Julian Wilcox says two wahine have been the year’s top performing Maori politicians of the year.

The Maori Television presenter says Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia showed grit in getting the Whanau Ora health and social service delivery model up and running.

And he says Greens co-leader Meteria Turei, whom many felt would have difficulty stepping into retiring leader Jeanette Fitzsimmon’s shoes, did so with distinction.

Mr Wilcox says MP Hone Harawira also had a strong year championing the smoking reforms and advocating a different line over foreshore and seabed reforms, and he is likely to blitz anyone Labour puts up against him in Te Tai Tokerau come election time.


Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says submitters to the Maori affairs select committee have highlighted how the injustice of past land confiscation is continued in the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill.

He says Tauranga Moana iwi in particular submitted how raupatu prevented them having continuous use of the foreshore and seabed … a key test in the bill.

He says a rewrite is likely.

Mr Flavell says the continuous use test has been at the centre of much of the Maori opposition to the bill. ......


A short film about Maori adoption has won UCOL film graduate Nicole Baker a three month internship in San Francisco.

The Darwin-born 23-year-old moved to Palmerston North to study for the Bachelor of Applied of Visual Imaging degree and learn about her Ngati Porou father's heritage.

That drew her to the story told in Whangai Girl.

Nicole Baker starts her three month internship next month at the Lobitos Creek Ranch production studio, which specialises in concert films, public television documentaries, and communications for non-profit groups and corporations.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Minister supports Maori Council overhaul

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples says he'd like to see a drastically reformed Maori Council.

A review by the Maori Affairs Select Committee has recommended a comprehensive re-evaluation of the role and funding of the New Zealand Maori Council be undertaken, and a separate body be created for the Maori wardens, who currently come under the councils.

Dr Sharples says while the council has a proud record of working on behalf of Maori, some change is needed to bring it up to date.

He says the emergence of a separate iwi leader's group hasn't taken away the need for the council to represent Maori on a pan-tribal basis.


A new Maori business organisation in Rotorua got off to a rousing start when more than 130 mainly young people in business turned up for its launch on Saturday night.

Kaumatua Toby Curtis who is on the Takiwai Rotorua Maori Business network's working committee says he was blown away by the energy and enthusiasm coming through from the younger generation towards business.

He says it augers well as treaty settlement assets play an increasing role in the iwi's future.


Maori anti-tour activist Ripeka Evans has paid tribute to anti-racism campaigner Tom Newnham who died late last week.

Ms Evans says as the secretary of the Citizens for Racial Equality organisation Tom Newhnam played a pivotal and highly influential role during demonstrations against apartheid in South Africa from the "No Maoris No Tour" campaign in the 1960's to the 1981 Springbok Tour.

She says he was a pakeha who gained huge respect among Maori for the quiet but strongly assertive way he focused people's attention not only on racism in South Africa but within New Zealand.

As a writer, educationalist, and great friend of many Maori, Tom Newnham campaigned tirelessly for human rights for more than 50 years.

A funeral service is being held at the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall at 10am tomorrow (Tuesday) for Tom Newnham who died aged 84 from lung cancer.


The chief executive of the Federation of Maori Authorities has welcomed a tax cut for Maori land trusts, but says more is needed.

Under urgency last week, parliament dropped the rate from 19.5 to 17.5 percent.

Ron Mark says that brings it a bit closer to the minimum personal tax rates of 12.5 percent.

He says most owners of Maori land are elderly and don't put in tax returns, so they don't recoup the extra tax the government takes off their shared income.


Fourth generation morehu Soraya Peke-Mason has been confirmed as Labour’s candidate in Te Taihauauru.

The 52-year-old three term Rangitikei District Councillor says when she arrived at Ratana Pa 10 years ago she didn't have a political bone in her body.

She says a local issue got her involved, and the mahi has been good grounding for her challenge to try and unseat her Ngati Apa whaea Tariana Turia for the right to represent Maori living in Te Taihauauru.

She hopes to reconfirm the strong historical links between Labour and the Ratana movement.


A terminally ill Waitara man from say he's shattered that he had to go public with his private life before Housing New Zealand would let his son stay with him when he came out of prison.

Sam Martin from Ngapuhi and Tainui says Housing New Zealand only allowed his son to stay with him in his one bedroom state unit when he told his story about their lack of compassion to the local newspaper.

Housing New Zealand's backtrack will allow him to bond with his son before he dies, a chance they missed out on after his son was jailed straight after his Mum's tangi two years ago