Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Kaipara iwi seeks to hold back tide power

A Ngati Whatua leader says the iwi will fight an Environment Court go ahead for a tidal power plant on the Kaipara Harbour.

Naida Glavish who says the court's decision to cut back Crest Energy's application from 20 to 3 turbines shows mana whenua concerns have substance.

She says the iwi won't take its cue from some of the harbour's most populous residents.

“We will not lie down like a flatfish and say nothing. We will protest not just for ourselves but on behalf of anyone who uses the Kaipara Harbour as a food paddle.
Ms Glavish says.

She will ask Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson to ignore the court's decision and refuse her consent for the project.


The agreement between newly-independent MP Hone Harawira and the Maori Party not to attack each other seems well and truly over.

Party co-leader Tariana Turia has labelled the Tai Tokerau MP an embarrassment for missing the second reading vote on the Marine and Coastal Area Bill.

That followed Mr Harawira calling his former colleagues lapdogs of National for supporting bill when the overwhelming number of submissions from Maori opposed it.

“You've got to ask yourselves why are they are still supporting it and it just seems that the ministers in my view are so locked to the relationship with National that they will now vote with National on just about anything regardless of what Maori people are saying,” he says.

Mr Harawira says the party has reneged on a deal to leave him in decent offices, and has relegated him to the part of the old Parliament buildings known as Siberia.


Christchurch iwi station Tahu FM is back on air.

Announcer Aubrey Hughes says it's been a slow process retrieving hard drives and equipment from their city headquarters, because they are only allowed into the damaged building in 10 minute bursts.

But he says a makeshift studio is now operating from Ngati Tahu premises at the Wigram air base.

Tahu FM appreciates the help it has had for Te Upoko and other iwi stations keeping transmissions going in the South Island.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says naming a man as governor general on International Women's Day shows how National does not take women seriously.

Former defence head Lieutenant General Jerry Matapaere was named to succeed Sir Anand Satyanand when his five year term ends in August.

Ms Turei says if they had been consulted, the Greens would has argued for a Maori woman to be the next head of state.

“The thing is there are huge numebrs of women out there doing amazing work including maori women and it’s often the Maori women who get overlooked so we should be aware of that and as Maori tautoko our Maori woman into positions as much as we can,” she says.

Meteria Turei says the National government has not appointed any women to a major position.


The chief coroner says he appreciated the help he's getting from the police cultural diversity unit as Christchurch's quake dead are identified and prepared for inquest.

Gordon Matenga from Ngati Kahungunu, Rongomaiwahine, Ngati Porou and Ngai Tahu says he's already struck by the almost struck by the random nature of many of the fatalities.

He says there are people from many cultures whose needs must be considered alongside the formal process and already Chinese, Japanese and Maori cultural advisors have sat with relatives.


A jam session Auckland tonight will celebrate the linguistic, cultural and musical connections between Maori and Hawaiian musicians.

A group from the Mana Maoli Collective is in the country to raise awareness of its activities.

Grammy winning ukulele virtuoso John Cruz says these include the Halau Ku Mana indigenous Hawaiian school, the voyaging canoe Kanehunamoku, and the music, which allows veterans to pass on their cultural heritage to hundreds of younger musicians.

As well as playing the Kings Arms tonight, Mana Maoli will play at Pasifika this weekend and Womad in New Plymouth next week.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Key urges Brown to seek Maori seats

Prime minister John Key says if mayor Len Brown is not happy with Auckland's Maori statutory board, he should follow his campaign pledge to have Maori seats on the council.

The statutory board was in the Auckland High Court today seeking a judical review of the council's decision to halve its previously agreed to $3.4 million annual budget.

Mr Key says the mayor has more options than waiting for the court to tell him what to do.

“Len campaigned on having Maori seats in Auckland so it’s within his grasp now to go and make that case if he thinks the statutory board thing doesn’t work. Again that’s something that can be put to the people. You don’t have to but it’s probably technically that is the way it will end up,” he says.

The government agreed to Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples statutory board plan after siding with Local Government Minister Rodney Hide by ruling out elected Maori seats on the new council.


A co-ordinator of the Tainui relief effort in Christchurch says the disaster shows it's time for a national Maori civil defence force.

Hone Pene has been in the earthquake overseeing teams of builders, health workers and caterers.

He says the assistance coming in from Maori from around the country is outstanding, but the help could have been there faster.

“Maybe its time for us as te iwi Maori thought about setting up our own civil defence, having direct contact and links with ministers so that we are not reliant on having to go through a tauiwi system in order to activate a rapid response,” Mr Pene says.


Auckland urban Maori leader Dame June Jackson says she's rapt to see a Maori appointed head of state.

Former defence head Jerry Mataparae will succeed Sir Anand Satyanand as governor general in August.

The Maniapoto matriarch says it's a sign of the changing face of Aotearoa that Maori increasingly assume prominent leadership roles.

She says it’s not only an honour for Lieutenant General Mataparae and his family but for all Maori.


Newly independent MP Hone Harawira says he had a good first day in the house despite being snubbed by his former colleagues.

Mr Harawira says he was put in a broom cupboard in the old parliamentary building rather than in the Beehive office promised in his divorce agreement with the Maori Party.

He's denying Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples' contention that accommodation was a matter for parliamentary services.

“Parliamentary Services came across yesterday to tell my executive assistant he’d been approached by the party leadership who said no, he’s not going to have that office, we want him completely out of the way so it was their decision, not Parliamentary services,” Mr Harawira says.

He is pleased with the support he has received from Labour and the Greens, and the only four people in the country he does not get on with are Maori party president Pem Bird and MPs Pita Sharples, Tariana Turia and Te Ururoa Flavell.


Meanwhile, Prime Minister John Key says former Maori Party MP Hone Harawira's forgetting yesterday's vote on the Marine and Coastal Areas Takutai Moana Bill shows how little support an independent has in Parliament.

On his first sitting day as an independent, the Tai Tokerau MP failed to show for the second reading vote ... despite using one of Labour's speaking slots to rail against the bill which precipitated his split from the party he was a founder member of.

The bill passed 62 to 56 with the support of the National, Maori and United Future parties.

Mr Key says it may be amusing that Mr Harawira made the same mistake as former United Future MP Gordon Copeland when he became an independent, but it points to the value of the party infrastructure.


The host of the breakfast show on Paeroa-based Nga Iwi FM says Maori radio has turned his hair grey, and he likes it.

Reno Wilkinson (PRON: as in Reno, Nevada) says the station celebrated 25 years on air today with a street barbeque and visits from supporters and former staff.

He's says as well as bringing the peoples of Hauraki together, the station has helped the revival of te reo Maori and launched the careers of a number of Maori broadcasters, including Aroha Hathaway, Pumi Tumai and Patara Berryman.

Maori board role goes to court

Auckland mayor Len Brown says his council will abide by whatever decision the High Court makes on funding for the city's Maori statutory baord.

The board will be in Court today seeking a judicial review of the council's decision to slash the $3.4 million budget recommended by an independent consultant.

Mr Brown says regardless of the decision, the board is in place and it's critical it gets on with the job.

“They are still a little bit hoha about the budget but kei te pai, they are seeking further clarification from the court and that is their choice and we will just abide by whatever that process determines,” Mr Brown says.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says he is proud and humbled by the way Maori have responded to the quake.

He says the way Maori from around the country have shown manaaki to the people of Christchurch of all races is amazing.

“As an example a group of Tainui tradesmen turned up simply to get in the community and not fix the houses but get them up to a stage where they are waterproof and the people can live in them now. They’ve already had about four pages of jobs. They’ve hooked in with civil defence so they’re registered and they’re out there in the community right now,” Mr Solomon says.

The scale of need is massive with 10,000 homes set to be condemned and winter approaching.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he has sympathy for Maori rugby league super star Benji Marshall.

The Wests Tigers stand-off was charged at the weekend with allegedly assaulting a man who made racist taunts at a Sydney burger bar.

Mr Peters says over the years he has copped similar abuse when he's been out in public.

“Often for a guy like that, you can’t go anywhere before some absolute loony-tune decides to have a go at you. Why, because he’s probably insecure in his own life and decides he wants to be a big shot in front of his mates and it happens all the darn time,” Mr Peters says.

He uses his tongue to fight back when people abuse him on the street, but can understand a younger man going further than that.


Former governor general Sir Paul Reeves says Lieutenant General Jerry Mataparae won't be allowed to forget he's a Maori in the job.

The former head of defence was yesterday named as the 20th person and second Maori to be governor general.

Sir Paul says the presence of a Maori in the office adds an extra dimension to the continuing constitutional debate.

“I think Maori see the Crown not really as something different to them but really as something to be captured, something to be made into an entity that Maori can understand and relate to. I think with a man like Jerry there, that process will continue,” he says.

Sir Paul says Lieutenant General Mataparae has the skills to handle whatever is thrown at him during his five-year term.


A Tainui community worker has returned to the Waikato to marshal further help for earthquake-hit Christchurch.

Hone Pene from Ngati Haua who has spent the past week with a team of builders putting floors in garages where people are living on top of sewerage impregnated liquifaction.

He says there is a critical need for continuing assistance.

“It's getting to a point where whanau are gong to start getting sick soon, particularly with us moving to winter, and even though we’re day 14 the real mahi of housing our people has yet to start,” Mr Pene says.

The response from iwi from around the country has been outstanding but it must not ease up with an estimated 10,000 homes destroyed.


In Christchurch today, the funeral will be held of a musician who was once rate one of the top 10 jazz guitarists in the world.

Mark Kahi died in a Christchuch rest home on Saturday in his 85th year.

Born in Rawene, Mr Kahi became an important part of the Auckland jazz scene in the 1940s and 50s, playing with the likes of Mavis Rivers, Nancy Harre and Crombie Murdoch.

Bassist Bob Ewing, who played in some of those bands, says audiences responded to the Ngapuhi man's artistry.

“He had that relaxed style. He could improvise tremendously. You would have thought you were listening to Les Paul,” Mr Kahi says.

Mark Kahi's funeral is at St Mary's Anglican Church in Heathcote Valley at 11am.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Jerry Matararae appointed governor general

New Zealand's first Maori governor general has welcomed the choice of a second.

Former defence head Lieutenant General Jerry Mataparae from Ngati Kahungunu and Whanganui will replace Sir Anand Satynand to become the country's 20th governor general.

Sir Paul Reeves says every holder of the office brings their own style to the job.

“He's a humble man who is going to be very acceptable to everybody not simply has he displayed his professionalism, his skill as a soldier but I think he has the ability to listen, to learn and to move around and to be a force that invited people to the middle to meet each other, because that is where he will be. I think it’s a remarkably good appointment,” he says.

Sir Paul says when he was governor general, he drew his Taranaki people around him for support and guidance.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon is defending earthquake relief services into Christchurch's eastern suburbs.

The Maori Party has made an issue of the time taken to get help to the areas where the majority of the city's Maori live.

Mr Solomon says while he can understand why people may be feeling aggrieved, authorities are dealing with up to 10 times the damage of the September quake.

“I don't believe it was deliberate but then you have to look at the scale and it would be fair to say in the initial stages the whole concentration seemed to be on the CDB and it seemed to be slow reactions out in the community, but we’re talking a huge area,” Mr Solomon says.

He says within days of the quake two weeks ago police, Maori wardens and social workers were door knocking in the suburbs trying to identify people's needs.


New Zealand rugby league identity Howie Tamati says Wests Tigers star Benji Marshall will bounce back from an assault charge.

The Kiwi's captain is alleged to have punched a man who made a racist taunts outside a Sydney burger bar early on Saturday morning.

Mr Tamati says that Marshall is proud of his Tuhoe heritage, and he’s not the sort of person to walk away from insults.


The Human Rights Commission is challenging Maori women to speak up about equal employment opportunities.

Today's the 100th International Women's Day, celebrating achievements made by women over the century.

Judy McGregor, the equal employment opportunities commissioner, says the battle for things like equal starting salaries is not over, particularly for young Maori women.

“So I would like to see younger women stepping forward and particularly young Maori women with such fantastic skills, they’ve learned all sorts of things in marae living, whanau living, hapu and iwi leadership, I’d like to see them stepping forward,” she says.

Dr McGregor says the daughters and granddaughters of women involved in many of the traditional women's organisations are not committing themselves to women's rights in the same way.


New Zealand First Leader Winston Peter says the best way to help people out of poverty is pay decent wages.

A new Health Ministry report has found 53 percent of Maori over 50 are living in poverty.

Mr Peters says the trickle down economics practiced by successive governments has proved a failure for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders.

“Best thing you can do to people in poverty is pay them a decent wage. The minimum wage in Australia is $20 in real terms New Zealand. Our minimum wage is $13. And yet our food prices, and things like that, power, petrol prices, these have all gone through the roof so it’s getting further out of people’s reach,” he says.

Mr Peters says too many older Maori will be with whanau in over-crowded homes, creating long term health problems.


A Christchurch Maori businesswoman says business is going to be slow to recover from the earthquake.

Marketing consultant Lee Retimana of Ngai Tahu, Ngati Porou and Ngati Whatua says she's still able to work from her cellphone and wherever she can find a good Internet connection.

She says only about 40 percent of her clients are back up, with many others severely impacted or still taking stock.

While she plans to stay in Christchurch, the earthquake has made her think about spreading her client base beyond the city.

Fear keeps residents from relief

An Aranui woman says one of the hardest things about coping with the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake has been the breakdown in communications.

Debbie Tamaiparea-Graham says she has been too scared to leave her home, so she only found out a couple of days ago that there was help available at nearby Aranui Primary School.

“If you didn't get a paper you don’t know there was anything down in Aranaui, food and washing machines. If someone had put something in letter boxes for people like me and neighbours who don’t venture out, we’re too scared to venture out,” she says.

Mrs Tamaiparea-Graham says her family has been living on tins of baked beans and spaghetti.


Associate health minister Tariana Turia says young Maori are not looking after their old people as well as they should be.

Mrs Turia says she's alarmed by a new Health Ministry report on aging Maori that shows more than half of Maori over 50 live in poverty.

But she says the government can't be expected to fix everything.

“I think it is behoven on our families to take better care of our elderly, especially when we have whanau who are working and could in fact make a contribution to their parents or their grandparents. They should think about that very seriously becomes sometimes we don’t of it,” Mrs Turia says.

She says many elderly are isolated from whanau, which means much of the load goes on health providers.


The chair of Maori vegetable growers collective Tahuri Whenua says he's encouraged to see a new generation of soil scientists coming through.

Nick Roskruge has just published a book on the taewa or Maori potato with Massey University postgraduate students Aliese Puketapu and Turi McFarlane.

He says maintaining the propagation of traditional foods has been his passion, and he's glad others now share that interest.

“For me that's important we foster the succession. We’re also starting to work on the same type of book on kumara, and perhaps another one in time, the kamokamo and kanga,” Dr Roskruge says.


The Public Health Association says the Christchurch earthquake is not the only disaster hitting New Zealand.

Executive director Gay Keating says the association is backing the Medical Association's Health Equity statement published in this month's New Zealand Medical Journal calling for urgent action to address health inequities.

She says most of the diseases which are disproportionately affecting Maori and Pacific Island people are preventable.

Dr Keating says government action is needed to improve access to health services, tackle over-crowded housing and address child poverty.


A legal historian says there needs to be more examination and debate on treaties and agreements with Maori after the Treaty of Waitangi.

Professor Richard Boast will give his inaugural lecture at Victoria University today on New Zealand’s other colonial treaties.

He says a fundamental characteristic of New Zealand’s constitutional and legal framework is it can embrace such treaties.

“Professor Judith Binney for example in her book on Tuhoe devoted a great deal of attention to the special negotiations the Tuhoe people had with the Crown and the government in the 1890s. This was a long, involved and complex process, very much a real negotiation whereas Tuhoe themselves didn’t really have anything to do with the Treaty of Waitangi, it wasn’t an agreement for them,” Professor Boast says.

The Waitangi Tribunal's research process has helped raise awareness around other agreements.


A Ngati Porou filmmaker says footage gathered over the weekend will add a special flavour to a documentary on Witi Ihimaera.

Monika Ahururi filmed three performances of Ihimaera, an Auckland Arts Festival show featuring interpretations of the writer's work by a dozen singers and songwriters including Ruia Aperahama, Warren Maxwell, King Kapisi and Victoria Girling-Butcher.

It was initiated by Charlotte Yates, who has overseen projects based on the poems of James K Baxter and Hone Tuwhare.

Monika Ahuriri says discussions are under way to see if Ihimaera can be taken on the road.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Turia backs wealth tax for rebuild

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says clawing back some of the tax cuts from the top tax bracket will go a long way to pay to rebuild Christchurch.

The Maori Party voted for the tax cuts as part of its support agreement with the government, but Mrs Taria says the $15 billion price tage on earthquake recovery means it's time to reconsider.

She says everyone needs to dig deep, but it's only fair that more of the burden should fall on the 300,000 people earning over $70,000 a year.

“Now if Australia can ask the whole country to give $800 each to help them out of the situation they are in, and they’re a lot wealthier than we are, then I think asking those on the top incomes in this country to contribute a lot more than $800 each, then we should do it,” Mrs Turia says.

She says there is no substance to ACT leader Rodney Hide's criticism that an earthquake tax would take money out of the economy, because the money would be spent rebuilding.


A mobile barbeque operating in Christchurch's eastern suburbs has been under seige by hungry people.

Flaxmere identity Henare O'Keefe took his tunutunu barbeque south to offer people hot food in area where power is still not back on.

Broadcaster Derek Fox says the response has been eye-opening, with people in the grip of real hunger.

He says Henare O'Keefe's volunteer effort has exposed flaws in the official relief effort, which has put resources into recovering bodies from the central business district rather than making sure people in the shattered eastern suburbs have what they need to survive.


Botany's new National Party MP says he doesn't know his Maori side.

25 year old Jamie Lee Ross comfortably won the by-election called after Pansy Wong quit amid questions about her use of parliamentary travel privileges.

He says he's keen to take up an offer from former Alliance MP Willie Jackson to take him to the East Coast to get to know his Ngati Porou side.

“Unfortunately I was one of those young boys who grew up without a father. He decided he didn’t want anything to do with me. That was his choice. So I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to learn a lot about my Maori side. But it’s certainly something I do want to learn about, get in touch with more. I’ll be better off learning about my whakapapa and history and heritage and that is something I’d certainly like to do,” Mr Ross says.

While as an Auckland City councilor he opposed separate Maori representation, he is pleased Maori can get elected in general seats.


An Aranui woman says her biggest shock since the earthquake is finding out she's jobless.

Debbie Tamaiparea-Graham says she found out she'd lost her hotel job when her husband looked on the company's Facebook page.

She says it's a big setback after finally getting their power and water back on ... but it's an all too common story.

“Everyone I have spoken to has lost their jobs. We’ve all still got to pay our rent and our bills. At the moment I’m going through the shock of losing my job and telling you to find another job but everyone is out there looking for another job nut you can’t there's nothing there,” Mrs Tamaiparea-Graham says.

Her next step is to go to Australia to stay with relatives.


Associate health minister Tariana Turia says health services need to respond to the fact more than half of Maori over 50 are living in poverty.

The figure comes from the 2011 Health of Older Maori Chart Book - Tatau Kura Tangata.

Mrs Turia says while many Maori don't like the focus on negative statistics, planners need to know where services are needed.

“Fifty three percent of our elderly are living in the more poverty-stricken areas and on the lowest incomes. Now that’s a worry because it means that our people are eking out an existence so we don’t wonder that their health is not as good as it should be,” Mrs Turia says.


Aspiring politicians who want to ride Hone Harawira’s coat tails into Parliament might find Labour list MP Kelvin Davis in the way.

Mr Harawira is sounding out support for a new political movement now he is no longer a member of the Maori Party.

Some commentators believe he could pick up enough list votes to bring another MP into the House if he retains his Taitokerau electorate.

But Mr Davis says that is by no means certain, as ordinary voters tire of Mr Harawira’s protest movement rhetoric.

“It’s not about looking back and protesting about what happened in the past. It’s about looking forward to the future and we can have any number of flags flying from any number of flagpoles but it’s not going to make Maori successful. That’s the plan I have is to make Maori successful through education,” he says.

Mr Davis says Hone Harawira has a small core or militant backers who will support him through thick and thin.

Christchurch quake test for wardens

The head of the New Zealand Maori Wardens Association says the Christchurch earthquake is demonstrating the value of the organisation.

Gloria Hughes says Maori wardens don’t seek the limelight, and they have quietly gone about their work in Maori communities for years.

She says as a trained and disciplined force they were quickly able to slot into the task civil defence gave them in Christchurch’s eastern suburbs.

She says the presence of the wardens has stopped looting, and it has comforted people who were frightened to open the door.

Ms Hughes says the wardens’ actions on the ground says more than the submissions made to the recent Maori Affairs select committee inquiry into the organization’s statute.


Maori Television presenter Julian Wilcox says the existence of the channel means Maori have been able to tell the story of the Christchurch earthquake in their own way.

Mr Wilcox says in an event of such magnitude, Maori can feel overlooked, and Maori Television is there to show what Maori are doing.

He says the Christchurch earthquake will provide the moteatea, like the rich store of songs and laments Te Arawa have about the Tarawera eruption of 1886.


The publication of a book on taonga Maori held at the British Museum could open up opportunities for iwi to reconnect with the work of their ancestors.

Oceania curator Natasha McKinney says the museum holds the most extensive collection of Maori artifacts outside New Zealand.

The book includes photographs and descriptions of more than 2000 items, including carvings, model canoes, cloaks, baskets, tools and weapons.

Natasha Mc Kinney says the Maori collection is the most visited within the Oceania section of the British museum.

The head of the police’s Maori, Pacific and ethnic services team is defending relief authorities from claims they had neglected Christchurch’s eastern suburbs.

Wally Haumaha says it’s clear many in the areas with high Maori populations feel they were the last to get help.

But he says as soon as they arrived Maori wardens and Te Arawa’s health team were dispatched to the city’s east.

“There hasn't been a deliberate approach to leave the eastern suburbs out. I think what’s happened is because of the magnitude of this whole disaster, getting equipment into the areas quickly has certainly been an issue,” Superintendent Haumaha says.

His team has also been involved with seeing to the cultural needs of victims' families.


A Christchurch Maori mental health workers says while the earthquake has torn lives apart, it is also bringing people together.

Karaitiana Tickell has been working as a trauma counselor since the 6.3 magnitude earthquake destroyed much of the city and its infrastructure and killed an estimated 200 people.

He says out of adversity is coming cooperation and hope.

“Even though there is a lot of despair and tragedy, at the same time there is a lot of strength and growth amongst the people. There are times when we are still viewing a lot of laughter, a lot of happiness a lot of joy and people say I never knew may neighbours yesterday but today they are my best friends. There is camaraderie and whanaungatanga growing among people and that is what will drive them forward,” Mr Tickell says.