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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

East Coast iwi dragged into Porou claim

A lawyer for claimants fighting against their inclusion in the Ngati Porou settlement say his clients feel gutted by the Waitangi Tribunal's refusal to hear their historic claims.

Tribunal presiding officer Judge Craig Coxhead has adjourned the East Coast district inquiry indefinitely because of progress towards settlement.

The Ngati Porou Claims Settlement Bill was introduced into Parliament yesterday.

Darrell Naden says because their existence is being denied, ancestral iwi like Ruawaipu, Uepohatu and Te Aitanga a Hauiti will struggle to maintain their distinct identities.

“With settlement funding iwi are able to operate. Without that, iwi are confined to the back block. It’s just so much more difficult, So being left out af a settlement makes it extremely uphill in terms of the growth and development of these traditional iwi,” he says.

Mr Naden says the tribunal is compounding the initial injustices of the late 19th century, when the small hapu of Ngati Porou flourished at the expense of traditional iwi because of the support its rangatira Rapata Wahawaha gave to the Crown in the civil wars of the 1860s and 70s.


Labour leader Phil Goff is denying Maori were the target of his party's attack on the Community Max job training scheme.

List MP Jacinda Arden held up a pumpkin in Parliament yesterday claiming it was the only product from a $320,000 project for unemployed young Maori in Moerewa.

Mr Goff says Community Max is not the answer to high levels of Maori unemployment.

“Far better in my view to bring back something like Maori trade training so you are giving people real skills that count in the real world rather than make work schemes trying to disguise the level of unemployment temporarily. That’s what we objected to,” Mr Goff says.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says ACT leader Rodney Hide must take responsibility for the debacle surrounding the Auckland City Maori statutory board.

The board intends to ask the High Court to clarify the law around its funding and powers, after the council slashed in half the budget recommended by an independent assessor.

Ms Turei says the problem would not exist if the council had included the Maori seats recommended by the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance.

“Rodney Hide refused to allow for elected representatives to be on the council. That would have eliminated all of these problems. We wouldn’t have to develop these new structures and then fund those new structures if we had a genuine democratic engagement with the Auckland city council,” she says.

Ms Turei says Maori want to see the statutory board given the resources it needs to do the task it was set, which is to make sure the council pays attention to issues of concern to Maori in the super city.


A Tuhoe leader says the late Dame Judith Binney won respect for leaving her academic comfort zone and standing up for justice for the iwi.

The historian died last night in her Auckland home at the age of 70.

Tamati Kruger says Dame Judith first made contact with the tribe while researching her 1979 book on the prophet Rua Kenana, which was followed by Nga Morehu, the Te Kooti biography Redemption Songs, and New Zealand Book Award winner Encircled Lands about the history of te Urewera and the Tuhoe people.

He says her books and public statements struck a chord with Ngai Tuhoe.

“Her comments went further than just the research. She expressed personal views and I think her attitude came through in her writings as well. I think it showed that she always felt that Tuhoe had suffered for too long at the hands of the Crown. She was adored by many people for being human in expressing that but criticised by some of her peers for what they say as having crossed that line,” Mr Kruger says.


Taipa occupation leader Wikaatana Popata says he's on his way to Parliament to protest the Marine and Coastal Area Bill.

Even though he's only 21, the nephew of Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira is a hikoi veteran, having marched in the 2004 foreshore and seabed hikoi.
He says marchers will leave Te Rerenga Wairua or Cape Reinga on Thursday February 24 and pick up support along the way.

He says the hikoi has the support of kaumatua and kuia from Ngati Kahu.

The Auckland District Maori Council has also called for a hikoi against the bill, which has been referred back to Parliament with the support of the Maori Party.


Competing teams for Te Matatini, the national Maori performing arts festival, have been welcomed on to the venue at Te Waiohika Estate near Gisborne.

There was specatacle as well as sadness as people remembered the contribution of Waka Huia founder Pemia Wehi, who died last week.

It was a magnificent spectacle at Waiohika.

Four horsemen opened the powhiri on their wiwi Nati horses.

Tairawhiti, not just Ngati Porou but Aitanga a Mahaaki, Rongowhakaata, all the iwi of the east coast came well prepared with 22 people with taiaha and seven kai karanga.

Wi Wehi, the son of Ngapo and Pemia Wehi, did the main wero to the manuhiri, accepted by Dr Pita Sharples, replicating the last time Te Matatini, or as it was then the Polynesian Cultural Festival came to Taiurawhiti in 1976 when Ngapo Wehi did the wero.

They then performed the haka Maui Potiki composed by Ngapo Wehi and first performed at the 1976 nationals in Gisborne.


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