Waatea News Update

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

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, March 04, 2011

Sharples advocates Christchurch rebuild on tick

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says the government should borrow to rebuild Christchurch.

Prime Minister John Key has suggested Working For Families and interest-free student loans could be shaved to pay for central government's share of the reconstruction.

But Dr Sharples says the costs should fall on those who can afford it.

“To resurrect the city we need either to borrow, and maybe that’s the best solution – we seem to shop ourselves out of debt ok. So we should bite the bullet and say we’re going to save Christchurch and borrow. Failing that I don’t think we should touch Working for Families. It was set up for families that really need help. There could be a graded tax along the lines of ‘we give what we can afford,” Dr Sharples says.

He says tax rises should start on people earning over $30,000.


Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says she understands the frustrations of eastern Christchurch residents who feel they have been left in the dark.

The Green MP and Christchurch resident is working with Comfort for Christchurch delivering food, water and information to residents in Dallington and Aranui.

She says most people need certainty back in their lives.

“The east parts are still the bits without the water, sewerage and power. They’re the last ones to get portaloos and things. It is coming but it is going to take a few more days and people are genuinely running out of patience,” Ms Turei says.

She says now people are no longer running on adrenaline, they are just worried about what to do next.


The country's biggest iwi will gather in south Auckland tomorrow for the annual Ngapuhi Festival.

Hone Sadler, the chair of Te Taurahere O Ngapuhi Ki Te Tonga O Tamaki Makarua, says many of the 50,000 people expected at Sir Barry Curtis Park in Flatbush will be there for the music, the stalls or the kai.

There will also be forums to discuss issues like the tribe's response to the Marine and Coastal Area Bill and progress on its historical Treaty of Waitangi claims.

He says a lot of Ngapuhi are concentrated in south Auckland, and it’s a chance to see where they are going collectively as an iwi.

As officials deny they have been slow to get relief supplies into the most damaged of Christchurch's eastern suburbs, one Aranui mother is expressing frustration at Housing New Zealand.

Te Rina Anderson says her house sunk into the ground after last week's earthquake, and its walls and foundation are laced with cracks.

She fears for her children's safety and needs to get out now ... but officials say the house is suitable for living in.

“They said to me look we have to put you down on the priority list because it’s not like you have lost your house which is a bit unfair because a lot of people I know have gone through Housing New Zealand, they haven’t lost their home either. We’re also the ones waiting for power and water and I know that Aranaui is not feeling like a massive priority. Aranui feels they're forgotten,” Ms Anderson says.

She's moving to Dunedin in a week, but still needs a safer place to stay until then.


Meanwhile, Housing Minister Phil Heatley says Christchurch residents who have been rejected for accommodation should try again.

He says officials have logged more than 2000 offers of accommodation around the city, and only about 500 people so far requiring emergency housing.

Mr Heatley says Te Rina Anderson might get a more sympathetic hearing if she applies again.

“Housing New Zealand would have to look at the case. The reality is we are dealing with those particularly high needs people at the moment. She might well fall into that category and if so it will be dealt with so I encourage her to contact their help centre,” Mr Heatley says.


Radio Ngati Porou and Turanga FM have raised more than $60,000 for Christchurdch earthquake relief through a 24 hour East Coast Radiothon.

Ngati Porou station manager Erana Keelan Reedy says the event went to more than 27 hours, with the phone lines only being turned off just after midday once the pace of donations slowed.

Solomon warns of logistical nightmare

Ngai Tahu head Mark Solomon says Maori wanting to help with Christchurch relief efforts should first contact the 0800 KAITAHU hotline.

He says the iwi appreciates the concern shown by Maori around the country, but accommodating workers is a logistical nightmare.

The Maori relief effort is currently run from Ngai Tahu's Wigram air base and from the relief centres established by Te Puni Kokiri and urban Maori groups at Rehua Marae and Nga Hau e Wha Marae.

Tainui set up a base camp near lincoln university yesterday for its 60 medical and catering staff, and Ngai tahu is also working closely with the Salvation army and the student army.


Meanwhile, Flaxmere kaumatua Henare O'Keefe says he's ready to take his mobile barbeque to Christchurch.

The tunutunu barbeque has become a centre for community organising around Hastings, with the popular district councillor using it as a way to attract people to street meetings.

He says even though he has nothing in life but the shirt on his back, when people heard he'd been asked to take go to Christchurch they opened their hearts and wallets.

He's also taking his guitar to help him raise people's spirits.


Maori academic and Christchurch resident Rawiri Taonui says some Christchurch residents don't seem to want to take help from a brown man.

Mr Taonui says the Maori response led by Ngai Tahu and Te Puni Kokiri has been great, with relief offered to Maori and non-Maori alike.

But he says at an individual level, Maori can be made to feel in the minority.

“From about day two onwards we spend most of my time walking round the neighbourhoods with my two kids helping people dig out and we noticed the further away from our street, the greater the frequency of people not really wanting to accept our offer of help. It had a bit to do with a large black man walking down the street with his big shovel might be casing out there house rather than being there generally to help,” Mr Taonui says.


Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples says not enough is being done for those parts of Christchurch with high Maori populations.

Dr Sharples says the Te Puni Kokori and Ngai Tahu are working with iwi around the country to get relief assistance and supplies into the city's eastern suburbs.

But he says other agencies seem slower to identify the need in those areas.

“The official civil defence team says we have not forgotten the eastern suburbs but the reality is it’s getting on for two weeks and they still haven’t got toilets, they still haven’t got water and power, and one would think ‘how come others had toilets and water within a few days after the earthquake?’ and it’s the poorer area,” he says.

Dr Sharples says it's hard on old people to still be digging holes in the garden for toilets more than a week after the quake.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the Government's talk of cutting benefits to pay for the Christchurch rebuilding is heartless.

Ms Turei was in the city yesterday working with the 1000-strong student volunteer army that is helping to distribute relief supplies and clear silt and rubble.

She says the students were shocked by Finance Minister Bill English's signal that interest free student loans and working for families tax credits could be cut.

“It's heartless. The economic ideas the government has are heartless at a time of such incredible strain for all whanau, not just those who are in Christchurch,” Ms Turei says.

Maori families are also concerned they could be hit by an across the board tax levy to pay for the damage.


A Maori trauma councellor working with whanau in Christchurch says the pressures are starting to tell.

Christchurch resident Karaitiana Tickell and his wife have sent their tamariki to relatives out of town, but stayed on to help in the relief effort.

The mental health professional says the devastation wreaked by last week's quake traumatised everyone from tamariki to kaumatua, especially in the eastern suburbs.

He says people are moving in with relatives, so there are the problems that come with overcrowded housing.

Karaitiana Tickell says it's even harder for those staying in the suburbs without power, water or sewerage.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

TPK brings Nga Hau e Wha into relief effort

Te Puni Kokori is setting up a second base in Christchurch, closer to the hard hit eastern suburbs.

The Maori ministry established its initial aid distribution centre at Rehua Marae on the edge of the CBD the day after last week's devastating earthquake.

But chief executive Leith Comer says most of the city's Maori families live in the east, which makes Nga Hau e Wha Marae a more suitable base for the task at hand.

“The main thing is for people whose power might be off or who might not be well is to door knock. A lot of the information is now being passed by the Maori wardens working with Ngai Tahu and some of our staff walking around the streets and knocking on doors. Hood information is gold both to the people who need the resources and the people who are trying to plan where those resources should go,” Mr Comer says.

The Nga Hau e Wha support centre will be up by tomorrow and working closely with the relief teams at Rehua Marae and Ngai Tahu's base at the former Wigram airforce base.


Many whanau in suburbs like Aranaui and Papanui are still waiting for help ... and information ... to arrive.

Debbie Tamaiparea-Graham, who lives next door to Nga Hau e Wha Marae, has lost her phone, although she still has power and water.

She's too scared to leave home, so her only contact with the outside world is through neighbours or her husband venturing out to get a newspaper.

Debbie Tamaiparea-Graham says what the people in Aranui really need right now are masks to protect them from the fine dust particles.


Maori academic Rawiri Tanui says as a group Maori will have been hardest hit by the Canterbury earthquake.

The former head of Maori and ethnic studies at Canterbury University says the history of New Zealand is that Maori have often borne the brunt of natural disasters.

“That's not wanting to minimize anything that’s happened to anyone else but simply Maori are poorer, they live in poorer areas, in more vulnerable areas, and that’s true in Christchurch, there’s a large Maori population in the east of Christchurch,” Mr Taonui says.

He says it's testament to the strength of the Maori rennaissance that tribal organisations led by Ngai Tahu are able to take a lead in coordinating relief in the eastern suburbs.


Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu's call centre is proving invaluable as Maori in the city struggle to contact relatives and seek assistance.

Manager David Perenara-O'Connell says experience setting up the 0800 KAITAHU number after the September earthquake meant it could be reactivated the day after last week's quake.

He says while it can't take donations, it's a great coordination tool.

“We're at least taking a log of requests coming through from Ngai Tahu whanaui but also from iwi katoa and wider members of our community. As that number got out there and known it’s become busier doing everything from receiving direct calls from whanau on the ground looking for assistance through to ensuring marae have food available to provide for people staying there, food blankets, that type of thing,” Mr Perenara-O'Connell says.


The head of Christchurch's urban Maori authority says the earthquake has brought Christchurch's Maori population together after years of wrangling between mana whenua, taura here and urban Maori groups.

Norm Dewes is turning Nga Hau e Wha Marae in Aranui into a relief base.

He says all contributions are valuable.

“We don't want to think that Maori aren’t doing enough becuae the Maoir population has really rallied together and this is under the umbrella of the urban authority, under Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu as well. They have played a magnificent role in helping bring the Maori community together. There is going to be some real benefits out of this but it is sad it had to happen through an earthquake,” Mr Dewes says.

The doors of Nga Hau e Wha Marae will be open for everyone.


Meanwhile, one of Nga Hau e Wha's neighbours says help can't come soon enough for the people of Aranui.

Te Rina Anderson says the area was badly hit by liquefaction, and most houses on the street are still without power or water.

She says donations of food and water have only started in the past couple of days.

“I've actually pushed my mother off to Australia because if we have another big one I don’t want them here. All my family is scattering and we’re actually splitting up which kind of sucks for me but we’ve all got to get ourselves to safety,” Ms Anderson says.

She's looking for accommodation anywhere in the country for her and her two children.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Tainui establishes quake base at Lincoln

Waikato-Tainui is establishing a camp on Ngai Tahu land near Lincoln University to coordinate its contributions to Christchurch earthquake relief.

Executive chair Tukoroirangi Morgan says as a major health provider in its own rohe, the iwi has the capacity to respond quickly to the disaster.

He says Tainui's tents, catering equipment and mobile clinics are on their way to the city.

“In the next day of so we will have medical teams on the ground and they will be a combination of doctors, nurses, trauma counselors. We are also bringing down a catering staff not only to feed our 50-strong team but also to prepare kai we will distribute out to whanau the community,” Mr Morgan says.

Tainui has more than 1200 registered members living in Christchurch, many in the hard-hit eastern suburbs.


Meanwhile, the manager coordinating Te Puni Kokiri's response in Christchurch says Maori who are keen to volunteer to help in the quake ravaged city need to go through formal channels.

Herewini te Koha says the clean-up will take months, and people will be needed to relieve those on the ground now.

He says the karanaga will eventually go out from Ngai Tahu.

“In the here and now, in the last five days say post the quake, the hard and fast realities are that people can come in but they are then confronted with the realties of safe accommodation, access to toilets and fresh water for drinking so every new body that is coming in is placing a strain on a broken infrastructure so being judicious about that or people coming largely self-sufficient is absolutely key,” Mr Te Koha says.


The Prime Minister says Maori providers will have an important long-term role to play looking after people who have been traumatised by the Christchurch earthquake.

John Key says he's impressed with the way Maori responded to the disaster, with marae quickly turned into emergency accommodation and money and goods flowing in from iwi around the country.

They are also providing comfort to grieving families from many cultures.

“The broader issues are going to be around people and the trauma of those who have seen people perish in front of them, those who have had their confidence shattered by the constant earthquakes and the fair there might be another one, all of those things are going to require a lot of support and I think you will see the iwi play an important role helping people through that giving them counseling and giving them support,” Mr Key says.


Broadcaster Derek Fox says resources are being misallocated in the Christchurch relief effort.

Mr Fox is in the city to report for the iwi radio network.

He says apart from the work needed to recover bodies and stabilise building in the central business district, more effort seems to be going in to clear silt from rich Pakeha suburbs that were only lightly damaged than to tackle people's immediate needs in the worst-hit areas.

“There is a real need out in the pohara suburbs, out in the eastern suburbs where the greatest damage was done in terms of affecting human life because there are people out there that are still without water, without sewerage, without kai, without transport, without petrol,” Mr Fox says.

He says relief efforts need to be door to door, because many Maori don't have power, phones or Internet connections to ask for help.


The head of Te Puni Kokiri's Christchurch relief team says it's important relief workers aren't allowed to burn out.

Herewini Te Koha says waves of professional and volunteer relief workers will be needed over the coming months.

He says the government, NGO and iwi groups co-ordinating the Maori response put support for local staff as a top priority.

“Our small team has been really stoic, like all Cantabrians. They didn’t leave the line. They were trying to balance the stress back home with trying to go about their jobs the best they could. We moved in very quickly to make sure we had enough cover to pull those guys away so they could turn their minds to family, their households, their loved ones and regroup and regather,” Mr Te Koha says.

A week after the quake, organisations are starting to send the first wave of outside relief workers back home for rest and respite.


Meanwhile, East Coast iwi Ngati Porou is looking a how it can bring its people back from Christchurch to give them a break from the aftershocks.

Chief executive Victor Walker says rather than send a team south immediately, the runanga has opened a cash appeal and set up drop-off points for non-perishable supplies in Gisborne and Ruatoria.

It's working closely with its Christchurch taura here, Ngati Porou ki Waitaha, to co-ordinate relief and offer a haven to its people.

“We've had a marvelous response from iwi kainga who have opened up their hearts, they homes and their marae and have invited any and all whanau to come home. They will be able to get some respite back with the whanau. We have already had whanau traveling back. They are really traumatised. They have lost their houses, they are injured, but thankfully they are able to get home safely,” Mr Walker says.

Radio Ngati Porou is holding a 24-hour radiothon tomorrow to raise funded for earthquake relief.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Team ups helping quake response

The Canterbury WINZ regional commissioner is praising the efforts of Te Puni Kokori and Ngai Tahu to help quake survivors.

Sue Rissman says ministry staff and iwi members have joined Work and Income mobile teams traveling around the eastern suburbs.

She says the co-operation is working well, with help given for people to fill in Red Cross and Civil defence payment forms.

Sue Rissman says reports that some Maori were turned away from relief lines because they did not have two forms of identification were wrong, and people needing emergency financial assistance will get it regardless of whether they have ID or not.


Auckland Maori reggae band Box Juice is donating the proceeds of its latest song to the Christchurch earthquake appeal.

Manager Ray Bishop says Warriors was written for the league team of the same name, with a chorus designed to be sung by the crowd every time the Warriors score a try.

He says the band is keen to do its part, and it hopes to match the $20,000 already donated by the Warriors.

Ray Bishop says Box Juice is recording a video of the song at Mt Smart Stadium on Thursday, which it will also turn into a fundraiser.


Maori Party co-leader Tariaina Turia says the party needs to ensure it does not lose the confidence of Maori in the north now Hone Harawira is an independent MP.

As part of the deal which led to the rebel MP quitting before he was expelled, the party agreed not to stand a candidate against him in Tai Tokerau.

Mrs Turia says many party members in the electorate want to know how they can continue to contribute.

“We've had some emails from people who are really concerned abut what does this mean for them as members of the Maori Party because they are still big supporters of the party, many of them. They want to know what the future holds for them so we have work to do to talk to them as well,” Mrs Turia says.

She says both the Maori Party and MP Hone Harawira have moved on from the row.


Former Warriors captain Monty Betham says the Legends of League won't hold anything back at next week's Charity Match for Christchurch earthquake relief.

Players who have put their hands up to strap on their boots at Mount Smart Stadium on Thursday week include include Rueben Wiki, Stacey Jones and even Tawera Nikau, who is prepared to play on his articial leg.

Betham says he and fellow organisers Nigel Vagana and Gary Freeman are taking the lead from last week's state of origin league legends game which raised thousands of dollars for Queensland flood and cyclone relief.

As well as the footy a number of the country's top bands will be playing.

Tamaki wardens set off for Otautahi

The first contingent of Maori wardens from Auckland is on its way to Christchurch.

Spokesperson Thomas Henare says the group is taking its vehicles and other equipment to the devastated city, and they will pick up other wardens on the way.

He says they expect to be assigned to suburbs where they can assist Maori communities.

“We've selected those wardens with training in first air, road training, civil defence, and who are fit and ready to go. No disrespect to our other wardens but it is around the safety and taking those wardens who are ready to work on the ground,” Mr Henry says.


Te Roopu Hauora has received an enthusiastic response from people offering to look after clients with disabilities who are being moved out of Christchurch.

Chief executive Tania Kingi says the Maori disability support provider has few resources of its own.

But she says the call went over its networks, and there was an instant response to what could be a significant area of need.

“I'd heard for one of the primary health organisations that up to 2000 people are arriving in Auckland in the next couple of days so we’ve got to have mechanisms in place locally to be able to support them as they come in,” Ms Kingi says.

She was disappointed television broadcasters covering the earthquake took three days to start providing sign interpretation, despite Christchurch having the second highest deaf population in the country.


An authority on tikanga and te reo wants to see more civil defence training for Maori in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake.

Taiarahia Black from Massey University says the calamitous events of the past week has shown the importance of having local people skilled in rescue and recovery.

He says many Maori still live in isolated communities where help may be some distance away.

“We establish rescue teams for our language, for our culture, what happens if there was a devastating earthquake in Martawaia for instance, in Ruatoki. We can’t even make the adjustments ourselves, we have to bring outsiders in to help us, which they will. Where is Maori in planning for these types of devastation,” Professor Black says.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says Christchurch residents are welcoming the help of Maori nurses and trauma counsellors.

Nurses from Te Arawa and a group of Maori trauma counsellors are in the teams going door to door in the quake-ravaged city.

He says more than the medical equipment they are carrying, the value of the team is helping people cope with stress and anxiety.

“The best buzz form the people’s perspective was a face came knocking on the door, that kanohi ki te kanohi interaction, that’s what the people need. So getting these people out into the community door knocking, speaking, making sure they have water, food etc, that personal touch certainly helps,” Mr Solomon says.


Christchurch-based iwi station Tahu FM is back on air after being knocked out by Tuesday's quake.

Programme director Carlin Goodwilly says a link with Wellington's Te Upoko o te Ika has allowed it to broadcast vital information and keeping people in touch.

He says it’s moving with other Ngai Tahu operations to Wigram airport, and once a studio is set up there will be more local content going.


Ngati Manawa claimants want extensive amendments to the bill settling their treaty claim.

The Maori Affairs select committee met in Murupara yesterday to hear submissions on the bill, which also settles the claim of neighbours Ngati Whare.

Maanu Paul from Ngati Manawa says the bill needs to be split into two, because in its current form it will rewrite history - especially with regard to waahi tapu.

“This government has lumped two people together and said they would share Tapiri Pa. We defended that pa against Ngati Whare. Now this government has the audacity to make us share the battleground where we stopped them. If that is not oppression of humungous proportions, I don’t know what is,” Mr Paul says.

He says the bill also tries to settle with named hapu of Ngai Manawa, rather than the normal practice of going back to a shared ancestor, in this case Tangiharuru.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Maori struggling with quake welfare hoops

Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene says Christchurch Maori who are having difficulties with welfare agencies may be better going to marae to seek help.

Mrs Katene says Tuahiwi, Rehua and Rapaki marae are proving support to people of all nationalities.

She says some Maori have reported being sent away from other centres because they don't have two forms of identification on them.

“What we are trying to is get Maori wardens and other Maori providers into the welfare centers so they can be talking to Maori as they come in and explain things to them so they are not having to wait in line for an hour and then find they need ID or whatever it is they need,” Mrs Katene says.


Meanwhile, Ngai Tuhoe has developed a crisis response for its people living in Christchurch.

Rangihau Te Moana from Te Kotahi a Tuhoe Trust says about 195 people registered with the various Tuhoe bodies are known to live in the city.

He's says the iwi has made some money and supplies available, which he is distributing to those he can find.

No one has called to report any of their relatives are among the missing, but he'd still like to make direct contact with all Tuhoe in Otautahi.


Pakaitore protest leader turned politician Tariana Turia says the occupation of Moutua Gardens bound Whanganui iwi together.

The iwi today marked the 16th anniversary of the start of the 79-day occupation with a concert on the riverside reserve, which has been returned to its ownership.

The Maori Party co-leader says the protest created bonds that will never be broken, especially being old and young people.

She says the occupation was a time of intense debate among the iwi.


The organiser of today's Pakaitore commemoration says when his family moved onto Moutua Gardens16 years ago, he thought they were going camping.

But Jay Rerekura, who's now 30, says he soon realised the 79-day occupation would be anything but a picnic.

“Back then in the early days of the occupation we got a lot of flak from the community here. Now we don’t have all that raru and that hate korero and it’s all about celebration, and we invite all of our own people and all other people to help celebrate with us,” he says.

During the day tamariki from Whanganui kohanga reo and kura came to Pakaitore to hear about the significance of the site, while the evening will be feature a concert by kapa haka groups and local bands.


Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon says the iwi's move to Wigram today has gone exceptionally well.

The iwi obtained the air force base as part of its treaty settlement, and it will now be the centre for the Maori response to last week's quake, with Te Puni Kokiri, Maori wardens and whanau ora provider He Oranga Pounamu also taking space there.

Mr Solomon says the base is better suited for coordinating the relief effort than the tribe's lobster processing factory near the airport.

Goods flowing in from Maori round the country can be processed in the Wigram hangars, while other buildings are well suited for temporary offices.


A Maori psychiatrist says Maori methods may be particularly helpful for many of the people traumatised by the Christchurch earthquake.

Maori trauma counsellors have arrived in the city to help those suffering psychologically.

Rees Tapsell, the director of psychiatric services at Hauora Waikato, says the profession has developed techniques that draw on traditional Maori values.

“Whanau-tanga, whanaungatanga, awhitanga, to the extent they employ those things I imagine they will be successful not only for many Maor who are attempting to try to deal with this tragedy bit for non-Maori as well, because those are not just the needs of Maori, those are the needs of all of us,” Dr Tapsell says.

He says children and those with young families will be particularly affected by stress and anxiety, which is compounded by the continual aftershocks.


Auckland mayor Len Brown says the super city council hopes it can avoid court action over the funding for its independent Maori statutory board.

The board is preparing to ask the High Court to determine whether the council had the right to slush the budget drawn up for it by an independent advisor, as required by its legislation.

Mr Brown says the council is still considering its response.

“Ultimately you can take everything you like into the courts and I would hate to see an over amount of time spent on seeking court clarification for exactly what this structure means. Goodwill is the determiner in my view, parties finally agreeing, and that is what I am seeking in this process at the moment,” Mr Brown says.

He doesn't want to have to go back to government seeking clarification about the legislation setting up the super city.

Anger, grief from relatives at rescue effort

Police are dealing with reactions ranging from grief to anger from relatives of foreigners killed in the Christchurch earthquake.

Wally Haumaha, who is heading the team co-ordinating the response for people from overseas affected by the quake, met with Japanese relatives yesterday.

They were shown before and after pictures of the Christchurch TV building where many Japanese students were studying.

Superintendent Haumaha says the anger some expressed was understandable, as hope of rescue starts to fade.

“My job is to reassure them the rescue operation is continuing. I have just had the Japanese rescue team with me at the briefing and talking to their people, reassuring them that until the last piece of rubble is removed they will do their best to continue with that search,” he says.

Each body receives a blessing from Ngaiu Tahu kaumatua before it leaves the mortuary.


Twenty Maori wardens from around the South Island are now working in the Christchurch earthquake zone, with another 30 North Island wardens set to arrive and help them.

Gloria Hughes, the president of the New Zealand Maori Wardens Association, says the wardens are providing medical and policing support.

The police officer in charge of handling foreign victims of the Christchurch earthquake says relatives of the dead have responded positively to the Maori ceremony used to bless the bodies.

Wally Haumaha says there was a major ceremony at Burnham Military camp morgue yesterday, and there are other ceremonies where necessary.

He says queries about the process have come from many people, including Jewish, Japanese, Korean and Chinese relatives.


Ngai Tahu members spent the weekend going door to door in the worst hit Christchurch suburbs.

Runanga chair Mark Solomon says the scenes they came across were not pleasant.

“There’s water shortage, food shortage, fuel shortage. It’s grim out there but the big move of moving out into the community is getting under way,” he says.

Many people can’t afford to buy basic supplies such as food and petrol because they have not received wages since Tuesday’s quake.

Emergency response plans formulated

February 25

The Minister of Maori affairs Pita Sharples is meeting with iwi representatives in Auckland this morning and in Wellington this evening to update them on the Christchurch earthquake.

Dr Sharples co-ordinated a hui in Christchurch yesterday which is setting up a command post to co-ordinate the moari response when a suitable site can be found.
A spokesperson for the hui Derek Fox says Dr Sharples will be telling the iwi leaders what they can do to help at today's meetings.

Mr Fox says offers of help from iwi have literally been flooding in with everything from help with accommodation for those who want to get out of Christchurch to doctors and medical supplies as well as all the essentials such as food and bedding etc.

Te Puni Kokiri says getting people into housing, jobs and schools will be priorities in the aftermath of this week’s Christchurch earthquake.

It’s working with iwi and urban Maori groups in the city to develop a concerted Maori response.

Spokesperson Jeff Short says under the government’s national emergency plan, the Maori ministry is tasked with welfare support.

“One of the big roles we are playing is to support the tremendous need for accommodation not just in Christchurch but as evacuees move out across the country, and I must acknowledge the efforts being made by marae right across the South Island,” Mr Short says

Te Puni Kokiri is also working to ensure people get appropriate trauma counselling if they need it.


One of the areas where the Maori response is being particularly welcomed is in handling the funeral arrangements for people from a wide variety of cultures.

The police general manager of maori pacific ethnic services Wally Haumaha who was at a hui in Christchurch yesterday which agreed to set up a command post to co-ordinate offers of help from Maori flooding into the city says organising funeral arrangements for those killed needs to be managed with sensitivity.

Superintendent Haumaha says a team of liaison officers from a range of ethnic backgrounds has been set up including officers who can speak Maori, Pacific Island and Asian languages.


Manurewa Marae in South Auckland is just one of many marae right around the country which are offering accommodation to people affected by the earthquake.

A toll-free number has been set up for Cantabrians affected by the earthquake wanting accommodation in Auckland.

Tunuiarangi McLean says the marae are more than happy to offer a place to stay.

The phone number to find accommodation or to offer accommodation from Auckland is 0800 AUCKLAND.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says the response and offers of help from Maori around the country has been truly magnificent.

He says to have iwi leaders such as Tukuoirangi Morgan from Tainui and Roger Pikia from te Arawa turn up in person at yesterday's hui with Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples to co-ordinate the maori response to the disaster was heart wrenching.

But he says the help needs to be co-ordinated through the Maori command centre which Te Puni Kokiri is setting up.

Mr Solomon says it is hard for people outside the area to appreciate just how difficult things are but with large areas of the city still without power even communicating what is needed is virtually impossible.

He says nevertheless the runanga has been able to make contact with more than 800 of the iwi's elders to ensure they are OK and see what help is needed.


Maori journalist Derek Fox who is in Christchurch with Ministry of Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples co-ordinating the Maori response to the quake says while the media have concentrated on the destruction in the CBD the real disaster is still going on out in the suburbs.

Mr Fox says at a hui yesterday at Rehau marae Dr Sharples heard that many felt the emphasis of the news coverage was missing what is really going on.

Mr Fox says people in the suburbs are living without power, without food, without water, without any communication and they are very frightened.

He says the Maori command centre which will be co-ordinating help from Maori around the country is very mindful of directing the help where it is most needed.


The programme director of Christchurch's iwi radio station Taku FM Carlin Goodwilly says street after street in the east of the city are still flooded with people living in horrendous conditions.

He says the real stories are those of tamariki like his own are traumatised and their parents have no answers.

Mr Goodwilly says many of those in areas such as his are in a daze struggling in a world where they have now been without power or electricity now for nearly three days and they have absolutely no idea when help may come or what to do.

He says for many even thinking about getting out of the place requires more energy than they can muster.


Te Ohu Kaimoana is giving $100,000 to South Island iwi Ngai Tahu to help with Christchurch relief efforts.

The Maori fisheries trust held its annual hui a tau in Wellington today, and reported a strong balance sheet despite transferring more than $63 million in settlement assets to iwi and associated trusts during the year.

Chairperson Ngahiwi Tomoana says the devastation in Christchurch is at the top of everyone’s minds, so the trust has dipped into its investment fund.

“If more is required we will consider it at the time but as of today there is $100,000 transfered to Ngai Tahu to support their priorities and we will be in contract to see what the issues are of the day,” Mr Tomoana says.

The earthquake also means the annual Maori fisheries conference which was due to be held in Christchurch next month has been moved to Nelson in May.

Iwi leaders respond to quake

February 24

Iwi leaders and Te Puni Kokiri are setting up an earthquake response centre in Christchurch to co-ordinate Maori help for victims of the disaster.

This follows a meeting at Rehua marae this morning at which Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples and Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon were joined by iwi leaders from around the country including Tukoroirangi Morgan from Tainui and Roger Pikia from Te Arawa.

Media spokesperson for the centre Derek Fox says those present agreed to do everything possible to help the people of Christchurch after hearing horror stories of families still without water, power, food or shelter.

Mr Fox says even before it has found a site to operate from the centre or command post is already being flooded with offers of help from marae around the country including the provision of food, doctors, medical supplies and accommodation.

Dr Sharples says Maori are keen to help, and have unique skills they can bring.


Two marae in Akaroa south of the city are among the first to offer accommodation and support to victims and rescue workers.

Co-ordinator Ngaere Wybrow says Wairewa and Onuku Marae about 45 minutes from the city are available to all, but they just need to get the word out there.

She says the area wasn't badly affected by the earthquake.


And further a field three marae in the Wellington area, Pipitea in the city, Kokori in Seaview and Takapuwahia in Porirua are being brought into the response.

One of those whose offer of help has been taken up is Wellington's Tenth's Trust which is preparing to provide accommodation and support for up to 3000 people mainly tourists affected by the quake.

Trustee Peter Love says both Pipitea Marae and Te Raukura, the new WhareWaka house on the waterfront, are taking in refugees with upwards of 1200 people expected during the day and evening.


The Police are certainly welcoming Maori setting up a commend post to co-ordinate the iwi response to the quake.

The general manager of Maori, Pacific and ethnic services, Wally Huamaha, who attended the hui at Rehua marae today says the command structure will evaluate needs then co-ordinate the Maori response in conjunction with the overall assistance being provided.

Superintendent Huamaha says he has assigned two officers to the Maori response command post already and more help will be provided as needed.


And Maori wardens from Auckland area are on stand-by expecting to be flown into the disaster zone within hours.

Thomas Henry who is chairperson with the Tamaki ki te Tonga district wardens association says 30 Maori wardens are fully ready to go into action.

They expect to join Maori wardens from other parts of the country in Wellington before being flown into Christchurch.


Christchurch academic Rawiri Taonui says the harshness of UN rapporteur James Anaya's criticism of New Zealand should not be lost as the country is gripped by the earthquake disaster.

In his report tabled in the general assembly on Monday, the special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples says Maori are extremely disadvantaged socially and economically compared to other New Zealanders.

Mr Taonui says particularly significant is a finding constitutional protection is needed to stop politicians circumscribing Maori rights through legislation like the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill.

He says the way the bill defines rights means the ability to go back to court is an empty right, and the New Zealand system offers weak protections for Maori rights.