Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Budget offers no incentive for value add industry

The CTU's Maori vice president says the budget has just made life a lot harder for Maori workers.

Syd Keepa says a lot of workers will take a contribution holiday from their KiwiSaver accounts because they can't make ends meet.

He says there is no stimulus for industries which employ a lot of Maori ... like forestry ... to invest in the value added processes which will allow them to earn more from exports.

“They're just of the opinion that it’s best to export our logs without having tem processed here and in the meantime a lot of those workers in that industry are losing their jobs,” Mr Keepa says.

He says Finance Minister Bill English's projections of a return to strong growth and job creation don't square with what he's seeing out on the worksites.


Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon says he's looking forward to this weekend's Rise Up Christchurch telethon on Maori Television.

He says help from Maori around the country has been much appreciated as the city struggles to rebuild after the November and February earthquakes.

City leaders are always aware of donor fatigue, and Sunday's 12-hour event will help refurbish the relief fund coffers.

“We've had support as far as people down here helping right since about day two and they’re still out there but there really is whatever people have n their hearts to give, please do. There’s a lot of need out there,” Mr Solomon says.


A major Belgian collection of Maori and Pacific treasures has a new home.

Artist George Nuku has been helping to install the collection at the new $100 million MAS Museum by the river in Antwerp.

He says the works gathered from a number of Belgian museums takes up the entire fourth floor of the six-storey building, and he was asked to provide suitable surroundings.

“There's a beautiful waka taua, a model canoe, and hei tiki and waka huia, old things, stunningly beautiful, and I’ve carved a Perspex wharenui. The poupou in the wharenui are basically holding all these taonga,” Mr Nuku says.

The taonga Maori was of particular interest to the King and Queen of Belgium at this week's opening.


The Mangatu Incorporation in poverty Bay of Plenty is celebrating a win in the Supreme Court which has thrown the treaty settlement process into turmoil.

The court has ruled that the Waitangi Tribunal must hear the incorporation's claim that land forcibly acquired by the Crown for forestry in 1961 should go back to it, rather than to Aitanga Mahaaki, the iwi that most of the owners belong to.

Chairperson Alan Haronga says the incorporation instigated and funded the claim in the early 1990s, and it was upset to be first cut out of the proposed iwi settlement and then sidelined by the Waitangi Tribunal, which refused to grant it a resumption hearing.

“All the courts in the land apart from the Supreme Court were happy to flow with the government policy of the day which in some respects disappointed us and why we held very closely our principles on the matter and pursued it all the way,” Mr Haronga says.

Treaty lawyers say the decision opens the door for individual claimants who are unhappy with settlements under the Crown's large natural groupings policy to go back to the tribunal and get binding orders over particular forestry blocks.


As the stand-off continues between the Wellington City Council and Wellington iwi over the ownership of the waka Te Raukura, a replacement is taking shape at the tail of the fish.

The council is threatening to take Te Runanga o Taranaki Whanui to the court if it doesn't pay $150,000 to settle the ownership dispute, while the runanga is demanding a signed agreement so both sides are clear what they are getting for the money.

Meanwhile, waka builder Hekenukumai Busby says work is going well in the far north on a 14 metre kauri-hulled waka the Wharewaka o Poneke Charitable Trust has commissioned to display in its waterfront headquarters.

The fishing waka can be powered by a mixed crew of 14 to 16 paddlers.

It will be in Wellington in August in time to be used for Rugby World Cup promotions.


The Prime Minister is sceptical the call by Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia for November 5 to be changed from Guy Fawkes to Parihaka Day will win wide acceptance.

John Key says there certainly will be some people who wish to remember the 1881 invasion of the non-violent Taranaki community by 1500 militia and armed constabulary.

“It's one of those things where people will want to learn their history and acknowledge it but I think it will struggle to change and as we’ve seen before when there was a move to change Waitangi Day to New Zealand Day, over time it never survived,” Mr Key says.

New Zealand Day was changed back to Waitangi Day in 1975 as one of the first acts of the incoming Muldoon government.


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