Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, February 18, 2011

Crippled court will create dangerous customs

Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill could set a dangerous international precedent for indigenous rights.

Mr Taonui says in its rush to replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act, the Maori Party allowed National to impose a narrow view of customary interests.

He says that means while Maori can go back to court, they can't rely on international precedents.

“An indigenous Maori Party should not support this legislation because it not only restricts Maori rights but it also sets a precedent in international law that will restrict the rights of any other indigenous peoples with similar claims,” Mr Taonui says.

He says it would be sensible to put reform of the Foreshore and Seabed Act on hold for a few years rather than pushing through legislation that may be worse.


The head of the National Addiction centre says New Zealand's booze culture is an adult problem rather than a youth or Maori problem.

Doug Sellman says the Automobile Association's call for public education campaigns targeting youth and Maori is misguided.

He says only 10 percent of heavy drinkers are under 20, and most drink driving fatalities involve non-Maori.

“This is an adult problem, not a youth problem. The youth of New Zealand, including Maori, are victims of the adult heavy-drinking culture, not the cause of it,” Professor Sellman says.

Higher alcohol prices and restrictions on advertising would have a greater impact than campaigns which try to scare people.


A south Auckland artist wants her work to encourage Maori and Pasifika women to take their health more seriously.

Leilani Kake's solo exhibition Nga hau e Wha at Fresh Gallery in Otara will be a four channel video about the way Maori and Pacific women's bodies have been perceived historically.

The Nga Puhi, Tainui and Cook Island artist says she is tackling the cultural taboo of nudity because of her anger over the unusually high incidence of preventable cancers in Maori and Pacific women, and

“As a TV viewer I watch those ads targeted and Pacific female audiences and Maori abut cervical cancer and a lot of them are jovial. I understand them trying to sell the pitch through humour but we need to take it seriously,” Ms Kake says.

Nga hau e Wha starts in March as part of the Auckland festival.


New Plymouth District Council's new Komiti Maori has handed over its first wish-list.

Member Howie Tamati says it asked the council to report back on creating a Maori ward and appointing at least two iwi representatives to the council's monitoring and policy committees.

It also wants the council to make decisions on flying the Maori flag, develop an official response to the Waitangi Tribunal report on oil and gas exploration in Taranaki, and report on how the Marine and Coastal Bill is likely to affect the region.

He says the reports will help the committee advise the council.

The reports could take the council six months to put together.


The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute Te Puia is about to open its long-planned third wananga.

Te Takapu o Rotowhio is a two-year qualification in carving bone, stone and pounamu.

Graeme Osborne, Te Puia's chief executive, says the institute is looking for three Maori applicants in the 18 to 30 age range to study under artist Lewis Gardiner.

He says the institute hopes graduates will go back to their home areas and train others.

Te Takapu o Rotowhio will run alongside te Puia's weaving and carving schools in Rotorua.


The second day of Te Matatini , the national Maori performing arts festival, is about to get underway at Te Waiohika estate in Gisborne.

Waatea correspondent Julian Wilcox says yesterday's highlights came from both established kapa haka roopu like Te Whanau a Apanui and Waihirere as well as newer groups like Tu te Manawa Maurea and Te Iti Kahurangi.

Today there will be pressure on the home groups like Whangara Mai Tawhiti, Tauira Mai Tawhiti from Whanau a Apanui and Te Hokowhitu a Tu.

A group the crowd will be looking forward to is Te Pou o Mangatawhiwri from Tainui who came in the top six at the last Matatini in Tauranga.


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