Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, February 17, 2011

South Taranaki council seeks royalty clip

Maori lawyer Moana Jackson is questioning South Taranaki District Council's attempts to piggy back on Maori claims for oil and gas royalties.

Mayor Ross Dunlop told his iwi liaison committee the council accepted criticism by the Waitangi Tribunal that it had not done enough to protect waahi tapu from the petroleum industry, and it would make more of an effort to get Maori input into the District Plan.

He also suggested if the iwi get royalty payments as the tribunal recommended, the council wants a cut.

Mr Jackson, who worked on the claim, says the tribunal found Nga Hapu o Ruahine have treaty rights to the minerals ... but the council is not a party to the treaty.

“I get suspicious when Pakeha organisations suddenly take an interest in things and use Maori kaupapa to piggyback on in order to access that interest so I am somewhat dubious about this claim let along the motives behind it,” Mr Jackson says.


Labour list MP Shane Jones says Maori are increasingly looking to Australia as the government fails to generate jobs on this side of the Ditch.

Even before Australian prime minister Julia Gillard arrived in New Zealand to revive negotiations on creating a single economic market, job seekers flocked to an Australian jobs expo in Auckland.

Mr Jones says the number of Maori crossing the Tasman is affecting Maori development, as the pool of talented people falls.

“I mean what it points to is a total failure in terms of John Key’s policies for employment and jobs because as a consequence of him doing less than nothing there’s great uncertainty and insecurity among too many of our Maori families so it’s not surprising that if they have got any skills that are viable, they are flying the coop,” he says.


An award-winning kaupapa Maori after-school programme could close is a new venue can't be found.

Te Aka After Kura Activities Programme in Flaxmere was last year judged one of the Out of School Care and Recreation programmes.

But founder Alayna Hokianga says its building has been bought by Age Concern, and Te Aka has until the end of April to find a new home.

“Finances were good. I guess we didn’t have $300,000 in our savings account, so unfortunately we are unable to secure another alternative venue,” she says.

Te Aka will break the news to parents at a hui tonight.


The director of the National Addiction Centre says there is no need for special advertising campaigns targeting Maori drink drivers.

The Automobile Association says general driving safety messages aren't getting through to Maori.

But Doug Sellman, who is also the professor of psychiatry and addiction medicine at Otago University says New Zealand has 700,000 heavy drinkers and it's wrong to point the finger at Maori ... even if they accounted for a quarter of road fatalities in 2009.

“The figures that came out this morning did point to 25 percent Maori but that means 75 percent were non-Maori so I really think if we focus on individuals we are missing the point. We all share in this heavy-drinking culture,” he says.

Professor Sellman says he's rather see higher prices and restrictions on advertising and marketing to stop the alcohol industry pushing the drug to young people.


More than 600 people have applied for the 300 places in a new early childhood education degree.

Nancy Bell, the chief executive of the New Zealand Childcare Association Te Tari Puna Ora, says the bachelor of teaching qualification has a strong bicultural focus.

She says staff teaching in Maori environments helped write up the degree, which replaces a diploma course.

“Students are learning about indigenous thinking around early childhood educations, families, whanau, learning teaching development and they are also learning about western thinking and so they are able to take the best of both. That offers them cultural prosperity,” she says.

Classes start this week at 14 regional teaching bases from Kaitaia to Dunedin.


Superb singing, movement and te reo Maori captivated the crowd of more than 5000 kapa haka fans on the first day of Te Matatini.

Waatea correspondent Jules Wilcox says the standard of competition has been high since the first group, Te Whanau a Apanui, took the stage at Gisbornes Te Waiohika Estate this morning.

He says Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples’ group, Te Roopu Manutake from Auckland, and Tairawhiti's Waihirere and Tu te Manawa Maurea also stood out.

“The main thing about today’s competition has been that the language has been of such a high caliber. The judges also made not of the fact some of the groups that haven’t been thought of in high regard in the past have shown through. Groups like Te Iti Kahurangi will be there or thereabouts,” Mr Wilcox says.


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