Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ngai Tahu still meeting huge quake need

Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says the iwi is still answering a big need for basics such as food and water in the earthquake devasted Christchurch.

A service will be held today at Hagley Park attended by Prince William to remember those killed in the quake three weeks ago.

Mr Solomon says that doesn't mean the pressure is off, and the tribe's distribution centres are flat out processing food and supplies that are arriving all the time from iwi around the country.

“We're still finding that there’s big calls for water and food and through our 0800 we’re delivering whenever people ring but there is still big need out there,” Mr Solomon says.

As well as answering immediate needs, iwi are helping families get their houses prepared for the winter which is fast approaching.


Labour Maori affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia says this week's attack by ACT on Maori tikanga was a deliberate stunt to feed a redneck frenzy around the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Bill.

In the committee stages of the vote, ACT's Maori spokesperson Hilary Calvert said tikanga was an Alice and Wonderland word and no way to decide things.

Mr Horomia says ACT is using the debate around the bill to whip up support through deliberate misinterpretations.

“Kiwis are reasonably minded but there is a fringe mindset like that member’s who thinks that Maori tikanga is a joke and the sad thing or the mad thing is that that member is feeding on the redneck and extreme frenzy. Apart from it not being fair, it’s just outlandish,” Mr Horomia says.


A new workshop series has been created for young Maori and Pasifika scriptwriters to hone their craft.

The Banana Boat Newbie Scriptwriters workshop run by screenwriter David Mamea is part of this year's Young Writers Festival in Auckland.

Development coordinator Jenni Heka says it's for anyone who's passionate and just wants to put pen to paper, in the 15 to 25 year age range.

The workshop will be at Artstation in Ponsonby on Saturday week.


Kaipara Maori are bitterly disappointed at Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson's decision to give the go ahead for a tidal power plant at the harbour's entrance.

Deborah Harding, the Te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust services manager, passions have run high over the Crest Energy project, with more than 300 residents packing out a community hui in Dargarville.

She says people don't want to see their fisheries put at risk, and the iwi and hapu will question every stage of the resource consent process Crest has to go through.

She says Crest failed to properly consult with Maori or with the wider community, and Minister Wilkinson refused to meet with locals before giving the plant a tick.


The chair of Auckland's Maori statutory board says members' participation council committees is working well.

The board's judicial review of the council's decision to slash its proposed funding is to be heard by the High Court on May 2.

David Taipari says even with that hanging over them, members are sitting on 11 committees, and are receiving a warm welcome with their contributions accepted gratefully.

The board is still working through with council whether it can appoint representatives to seven other committees.


The centre for Maori research excellence is undertaking a three-year project to establish new frameworks for Maori economic development.

Charles Royal, the director of Nga Pae o te Maramatanga, says Te Pae Tawhiti or the distant horizon project is in response to the changing needs ot Maori in the wake of treaty settlements.

He says many of the management or governance systems available were established when Maori communities had fewer resources and few people to do the work.

“When you are coming to settle a treaty claim, it might be $5 million, it might be $40 million worth of assets and so on, it requires a whole new way of thinking about our people, a whole new way of thinking about how to manage assets of that kind, a whole host of things have to be done to prepare an iwi runanga for example to receive those assets and to manage them property,” Professor Royal says.

Nga Pae o te Maramatanga will work closely on the project with the Whakatane-based Ngati Awa Runanga and its Te Wananga o Awanuiarangi.


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