Waatea News Update

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Sharples downplays effect of hard fought bill

After years of fighting for it, Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says nothing will really change with the passing of the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act.

With Labour, ACT, the Greens and newly-independent MP Hone Harawira uniting in opposition, it was the Maori Party's four votes that got the bill over the line yesterday.

Dr Sharples says while the law gives Maori the right to test their claims for customary title through the courts, the bar for ownership is high.

“I am glad it's out of the way because at the end of the day nothing’s going to change really except some iwi are going to do some development, others are able to do major development, and people are still able to go down to the beach and swim and fish and do all the things we used to do,” he says.

Dr Sharples says the door is left open for future parliaments to change the law.


Labour MP Shane Jones says the Maori Party has used the foreshore and seabed reform to mask its inability to make gains on issues like employment, education and health.

The list MP, who is standing against Pita Sharples in Tamaki Makaurau, says it is bizarre the Maori Party co-leader is now claiming the new law won't change anything.

He says Maori voters may not understand the intricacies of the Act, but they will understand the Maori Party has taken them for a ride.

“They understand what is happening to may kids, what is happening to me, am I feeling any more vigorous, am I feeling better off and I think the Maori Party has used the seabed and foreshore issue as a major diversion away from that issue because once they start deal with that issue it’s evident how impotent and powerless they are in the face of Steven Joyce and John Key and Bill English,” Mr Jones says.

He says the law will pit New Zealanders against each other.


A former member of New Zealand's mission in Bamiyan says locals appreciated their contribution.

The Afghan government has set a deadline of 2014 for Afghan police and soldiers to take charge of security nationwide.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully says the New Zealand army's provincial reconstruction team in Bamiyan will be ready to hand over well before then.

Travis Russell of Nga Puhi and Ngati Awa says his time there in 2005 was a great experience, and believes it was appreciated by Afghan police and community members.

He says the New Zealanders taught them some communication skills, and how to maintain a presence in an area.


The policeman responsible for liaising with the families of foreigners killed in the Christchurch earthquake is praising the contribution of controversial kaumatua Maurice Gray.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust has attacked the police for continuing to work with the former Anglican priest, who earlier this year was discharged without conviction after being found guilty of solemnising a 2006 wedding he did not attend.

Superintendant Wally Haumaha says Mr Gray provided essential support as rescue workers from around the world retrieved bodies from the rubble, and many were moved to tears as his karakia were translated.

This also led to the Australian police requesting a Maori blessing when they left for home.


Independent MP Hone Harawira says the absence of Maori in parliament for yesterday's third reading of the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Act was significant.

Mr Harawira says legislation affecting Maori is traditionally witnessed by iwi who will come in bus loads to fill the public galleries.

He says yesterday Maori Party MPs had to get their staff members to attend to make up numbers.

He didn't feel alone voting against the Bill because he knows Maori people understand why he took his stand.


An organiser of this week's conference in Auckland on homelessness says Maori are more vulnerable to ending up on the streets.

Iris Pahau from the Coalition to End Homelessness says anyone may be one event away from homelessness.

But she says 85 percent of people with nowhere to live in New Zealand are Maori, and among the homeless are many who have been released from prison, of who turn 16 and are no longer in the care of the Child, Youth and Family Services.

She says the Christchurch earthquake is an example of how homelessness can strike people without warning.

Flotilla gathers for Petrobras protest

Te Whanau a Apanui has put out the call for a water-borne protest against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras's plans to prospect in the Raukumara basin.

Spokesperson Dayle Takitimu says vessels with links to the Nuclear Free Flotilla, Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, and Coromandel Watchdog are expected to be part of a flotilla leaving Auckland for Cape Runaway on Sunday in the hope of encountering Petrobras survey boats.

She says unlike some other iwi, Te Whanau a Apanui isn't interested in deals with miners.

“It's not about the money or greater ability to invest or joint venture with these companies. Whanau a Apanui just don’t want this activity occurring on our back doorstep when there is so much risk involved,” Ms Takitimu says.

She says all New Zealand is under-threat if there is an oil spill from the drilling.


An experimental project to farm sea cucumbers has taken a step forward with Maori partners travelling to China to find out what the customers want.

Business support agency Poutama Trust, the Whakatohea Maori Trust Board and Wakatu Incorporation have been in talks with Oriental Oceans about faming the delicacy in Bay of Plenty and Nelson waters.

Poutama chief executive Richard Jones says the Chinese are happy with the progress.

He says a Wakatu scientist was in the group and stayed on to study how the Chinese manages their sea cucumber farms.

The sea cucumbers will be grown under mussel farms.


Northland iwi Ngai Wai is backing a plan by the Department of Conservation to eradicate kiore or native rats from Taranaga - the Hen in the Hen and Chicken islands.

Resource unit head Clive Stone says the kiore is a taonga, because it travelled with Maori from the Pacific islands.

But he says the iwi approved the poison drop because it also has a kaitiaki responsibility for species like native lizards, bellbirds, kukupa and kaka.

It also hopes seabird life will recover so it can resume cultural harvests of mutton bird.

Mr Stone says Taranga is culturally significant to the iwi and has national ecological value.


The Minister of Courts, Georgina Te Heuheu, says the government is crossing its fingers that the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Act won't clog up the legal system.

The law passed yesterday with the votes of the Maori Party, National and United Future.

Mrs Te Heuheu says that means Maori once again can test their rights to customary ownership in court.

“The government’s hopeful, like all governments I think, that court proceedings tend to clog things up for years to come. Ion the other hand the main purpose of the bill that we’ve negotiated with the Maori Party is to restore the right of Maori to go back to court which is, if we recall the hikoi of some years ago, that was their main take,” Mrs Te Heuheu says.


A national hui on homelessness has called for an parliamentary inquiry into the problem.

Iris Pahau from the Coalition to End Homelessness says Maori make up at more than 80 percent of the homeless.

She says there is no government agency which takes the lead responsibility for dealing with it.

“We as a coalition have called for a parliamentary inquiry into homelessness because we don’t know how wide or how deep the problem is for New Zealanders but we know it is a growing industry and we want to be able to stop it. Our country is small enough to stop this from getting
any bigger,” Mrs Pahau says.

She says the answer to homeless is not just more emergency and affordable housing but also getting homeless Maori connected back to the whanau and hapu they have often lost touch with.


Porirua's Pataka Museum says it's time to introduce visitors to the region's mana whenua.

As part of its exhibition on Ngati Toa's almost two-century occupation of the Porirua area, it's conducting a tour this Sunday of historic pa, including Taupo at Plimmerton, Parematta Pa on the Ngati Toa Domain and Bridge Pa on the coast south of Titahi Bay.

Curator Bob Maysmor says the arrival of Te Rauparaha and his people in the 1820s and 30s was crucial period in New Zealand history.

The exhibition looks at all the major pa as well as the smaller kainga scattered around the harbour and offshore islands.

Mr Maysmor says each pa has its own story which the exhibition tries to bring out.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Party critics deny government legitimacy

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says some of the party's former supporters don't appreciate the compromises needed to be effective in politics.

Mrs Turia says Maori put the party into parliament to be lawmakers and part of kawanatanga.

That means while it believes many of the same things as those who marched in this week's hikoi against the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, the Party must work the system as best it can with its four votes.

“Well it is philosophical and I think what we would find is that a lot of the people who have been providing advice to the movement are not people who actually believe in the legitimacy of government, so that then puts us in a completely different space,” Mrs Turia says.

She says the Marine and Coastal Area Bill repeals the Foreshore and Seabed Act as promised, and restores to Maori due process to pursue customary rights claims through the courts.


But former Maori Party MP Hone Harawira has defended the people who marched in the hikoi.

The Tai Tokerau independent says Tariana Turia and her colleagues owed their seats to those who were prepared to march for Maori rights.

“A goodly number of those people were Maori Party members, Maori Party supporters, ex- Maori Party supporters I’d say after this bill goes through and to try to write them off as the lunatic fringe is simply insulting,” Mr Harawira says.


A Ngati Kahungunu eel researcher says landowners can do more to arrest falling numbers of tuna and other native fish.

Joe Potangaroa is giving a free public talk tonight at Masterton's Te Aratoi Museum about the impact of draining wetlands and introducing fish in Wairarapa Moana.

He says the stock can recover.

“Landowners can fence off streams and try to the improve the situation where eels are trying to get in and out to migrate. Ione of the big things for tuna tuwharuwhau, the New Zealand long fin, is to leave the big black ones along because those are the females that haven't bred yet,” Mr Potangaroa says.

The talk is part of a range of activities around the museum's major Wairarapa Moana exhibition.


Whakatane-based Te Runanga o Ngati Awa is offering to guarantee bank loans its members take out to build houses on multiply-owned Maori land.

Its housing project manager, Vicky George, says there is still a lot of Maori land in the eastern Bay of Plenty, including some owned by the runanga.

She says the scheme removes what has been a major impediment to housing projects, which is banks reluctance to fund papakainga developments.

She told Community Housing Aotearoa's conference in Henderson the runanga is offering 52 year rolling leases when its land is used for housing, rather than the traditional 21 year leases.


Independent Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says the Maori Party should listen to Maori people rather than iwi leaders abour mining and oil exploration.

Mr Harawira says the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Bill, which had its third reading today, opens the door for widespread coastal and offshore mining and oil exploration

He says rather than considering environmental issues, the Maori Party believes mining is ok if iwi want to mine.

“We need to put that aside and say is mining in the best interests of the people of New Zealand. When they talk about the iwi, the Maori Party just talk about the iwi leaders but the iwi leaders are not actually the iwi, and iwi are very rarely consulted and you will find in most cases where an iwi are actually consulted in terms of the people who live there, they are 90 percent opposed to such activity,” Mr Harawira says.


An Auckland auctioneer believes a collection of pounamu artifacts being sold by tender is the best ever assembled by a private collector.

Dunbar Sloane says the late Roger Edmonds wanted the 80-piece Kalimantan Collection to go to a single New Zealand buyer.

He says the collection includes pre-1850 greenstone mere and hei tiki sourced from around the world, as the Whanganui accountant bought the best of what was available.

Mr Sloane says he's aiming to get about $1 million from the tender, which is open for three weeks.

Foreshore fades as voting spir

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia expects day to day issues like health, education and jobs will be greater influences on the way Maori vote than the foreshore and seabed.

Mrs Turia says it is hard to tell the election day impact of its support of the Marine and Coastal Area Bill, which could be passed as early as today.

She says for every email the MPs have received criticising their stand, there have been 20 commending them for standing strong and making some advances.

“The foreshore and seabed is a significant issue for us because it is about our resources, our land, and those things will always have some paramouncy in our hearts and minds, but on a day to day basis the majority of our people are more concerned about the social situation they are in,” Mrs Turia says.

The party's polling supports that view.


Meanwhile, the Maori Party's ability to address those social issues may be constrained by the costs of the Christchurch earthquake.

Prime Minister John Key has warned his support parties that the money is not there to fund their pet projects.

He says while there are no plans to cut back the whanau ora scheme for delivering social services through Maori providers, an expected boost in spending isn't going to happen either.

“There are no proposals to trim back whanau ora. The question is just how much more money goes into the programme. I think as a starting off programme it is doing well. There is a great concept behind it and Tariana is working very hard on it,” Mr Key says.

He says the only alternative to sending everyone a bill to pay for Christchurch's rebuilding is for the government to cut its own spending.


A Christchurch-based Maori academic says Christchurch City Council should follow Housing New Zealand and give its tenants a rent break.

Rawiri Taonui says many of the council's tenants are Maori.

He says state house tenants have been given a three week rent holiday, but the council seems to take the attitude if people are still living in the houses they should pay.

“In some of these situations they are living in houses where there is sewage swilling outside and there are still problems with water and things like that, so it’s maybe something the city council needs to think through a bit,” Mr Taonui says.

He says relief efforts seem to overlook the needs of the city's poorest citizens.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Maori will realise the party has done the best it could in replacing the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

The Marine and Coastal Areas - Takutai Moana - Bill is expected to be passed today, with critics saying it delivers Maori even less than the law it replaces.

But Mrs Turia says iwi know from their own historical claim negotiations how hard it is to get a fair deal.

“The fact that our various hapu and iwi take only between 1 and 3 percent of what has been taken from them, that in itself indicates the huge difficulty in negotiating with the Crown. The fact is they are the judge and the jury and the perpetrators, so very difficult position to be in,” she says.


A Taranaki provider of programmes aimed at reducing family violence programmes says locking up perpetrators does not mean the children are safe.

Ngaropi Cameron will share Tu Tama Wahine o Taranaki's methods with counsellors and social workers at today's national Whanau Ora Family Violence Fund conference in Auckland.

She says programmes need to address the lasting effects of violence on children.

“It's not just good enough to say ‘he’s in prison now so the children are safe.’ That’s the time to do some work. He’s in prison, someone will be doing some work with him hopefully, but now is the time to do some work with mum and the children. Those are the things we are looking to build on,” Ms Cameron says.

She will also explain Tu Tama Wahine's E Tu! Stand Up Against Abuse initiative.


Some of the leading Maori and Pasifika poets will share the stage with up and comers in Auckland tonight.

Emerging Verse Established at the downtown Okai Gallery features Jai MacDonald, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Courtney Meredith and Robert Sullivan, the head of Creative Writing at Manukau Institute of Technology.

The Nga Puhi and Ngai Tahu poet says the aim is to get a poetic exhange between generations.

Emerging Verse Established, which is part of the Young Writers festival, starts at 6.30.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Low hikoi turnout backfires

Prime Minister John Key is taking the small turnout for the second foreshore and seabed hikoi as an endorsement for his government's Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

About 300 people marched on Parliament yesterday, swelling the ranks of the 70 who had traveled down from Cape Reinga to protest the way the bill will extinguish customary rights.

Mr Key says that's a good indicator of Maori feeling.

“The fact it is relatively small, you have to take it as an indication for the most part people are satisfied with the changes we are making. If there was really widespread concern I think there would have been a lot more people on that protest,” Mr Key says.

He believes a similarly small percentage of Pakeha oppose the bill, with the majority supporting the Government's handling of the issue.


Meanwhile New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who is trying to mine disquiet about the foreshore to build up support, says his party will have more Maori MPs after the next election than any other party.

New Zealand First is currently picking its candidates, although the unlikelihood of it picking up an electorate means the rankings on its party list will be critical.

Mr Peters says many Maori high achievers are putting their names forward.

“We will put up more Mari candidates who will get into Parliament than the rest of those other parties as we always have. These people have got Maori in their background. We will have by the looks of it a number of people who have got all sorts of qualifications, but one of the things they have on their cv is that they have a Maori background,” Mr Peters.


A Maori author is taking a leaf out of one of her books to support Christchurch.

Tina Makereti of Ngati Tuwharetoa, Te Atiawa and Ngati Maniapoto is contributing a story about Pania of the Reef to Tales for Canterbury, an anthology raising money for the Red Cross Christchurch quake relief fund.

She says the story, from her 2010 Huia collection Once Upon a Time in Aotearoa, fitted the brief of hope and survival.

Tales for Canterbury will be available next month in print and e-book versions.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says despite the emotion displayed at yesterday's hikoi against the Marine and Coastal Areas - Takutai Moana - Bill, she won't be withdrawing her support for the bill.

The 300 marchers adopted an attitude of mourning, coming on to Parliament's grounds as if on to a tangi.

She found the sight of the kuia coming on to the grounds weeping deeply moving.

Mrs Turia welcomed the hikoi because, despite disagreeing about whether the bill was the best that could be done for Maori, it was important to show manaakitanga.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says Maori need to be involved in decision making about the future shape of Auckland.

Ms Turei was among the 400 people who attended today's summit on the Auckland spatial plan, which is supposed to provide a blueprint for the super city's development over the next 30 years.

She says the Greens will have something to say in Maori are omitted from the way the process develops.

She says in many areas such as public transport and public safety, the views of the city's planners seem to coincide with those of the Greens.


A Hawaiian reggae band is winning legions of young Maori fans.

Kolohe Kai is touring the country with Maori support from 1814 and Sons of Zion.

Backing vocalist Jasmine Moikeha says it has been a great tour so far, with lead singer Roman De Peralta making a real connection with audiences with his themes of family, land, and the iocean.

Kolohe Kai plays the Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua tonight, then Hawera, Mount Maunganui and Auckland's Logan Campbell Centre on Saturday night.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two Degrees cracks half million

The chief executive of mobile phone company Two Degrees says the company is on track to move into the black in the next couple of years, which will stop the decline in the Maori shareholding.

The stake held by Te Huarahi Tika Maori spectrum trust's Hautaki subsidiary has been almost halved to 10.3 percent as other shareholders bring in the cash needed to expand the network.

Eric Hertz says today's announcement that just over 580,000 people had signed on in the first 19 months shows the company on the right track.

But he says despite some regulatory change there is still not a level market, so many customers still have accounts with more than one company.

“We think that probably one in three people are carrying more than one mobile phone. Until the ability to penalize someone for calling (another network) goes away, until you don’t worry about who you are calling or what network they are one, until we get that condition in the country I think people are still inclined to carry multiple phones,” Mr Hertz says.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says the Marine and Coastal Area - Takutai Moana - Bill is both unnecessary and a total mess.

About 300 people marched from Te Papa to Parliament today to protest the bill, which is in its final stages.

Mr Peters, who was part of the Labour-led government which passed the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act, says that law wasn't the disaster its critics claimed it would be ... and the Maori Party was foolish to ask National to write a replacement.

“Our stand is the 2004 legislation where we went to all the coastal tribes, Ngati Porou, Ngati Wai, Ngai Tahu, all the ones who have coastal interests, and with them came up with this solution, which they all then backed,” Mr Peters says,

He says the concept in the new bill of making beaches a public domain which nobody owns is a nonsense.


The tutor of the top Auckland secondary school kapa haka group says the Maori performing arts are a great way to get students motivated for the rest of their education.

Te Kura Kaupapa o Hoani Waititi in west Auckland fought its way back into the top spot at the four-day Polyfest, pushing last year's winner Western Springs College into second.

Te Hira Paenga says the students are now back on their academic track, but they're feeling great.

“All our kids are talented in kapa haka. It is not even about pulling out those talents, It is about pulling out the morals and values we have in a positive way our kids are able to latch on to,” he says.

Te Hira Paenga says while only a lucky few can make a career out of kapa haka, taking part gives them a good grounding for other parts of their lives.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon says the iwi's tourism businesses are being hit by cancellations in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake.

The South Island iwi has whole or partial stakes in a number of ventures, including Tourism Holdings, Shotover Jet and Whale Watch Kaikoura.

Mr Solomon says there is little it can do to stem the losses.

“We definitely have had lots of cancellations. Tourism numbers look they are going to fall. It’s something we have got to ride out. Our businesses are up and running, so we’ve just got to see how we perform,” he says.

Mr Solomon says the Ngai Tahu might not be able to get back into its CBD head office for another year.


Family services organisation Jigsaw fears its funding for domestic violence and child abuse programmes will be cut to provide the money for whanau ora.

Chief executive Liz Kinley says many of its 45 child advocates are hosted by Maori organisations.

She says rumours are rife that many face the chop ad the Ministry of Social Development puts its Budget bids together.

Liz Kinley says the likely end of public education programmes like the "Its not OK" TV campaign will also have a negative effect of levels of domestic violence and abuse.


Auckland mayor Len Brown says he intends to visit marae around the city seeking ideas for the future.

Under the super city legislation, the council is required to draw up a development blue print plan for the next 30 years.

Mr Brown says that will require lots of public input, so he will be all over the region to get people’s ideas.

Turbines seen as threat to snapper

Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says an experimental tidal power plant to be built in the Kaipara Harbour is a threat to fish suplies.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson last week approved Crest Energy's plan to build its first three of 200 turbines near the harbour entrance.

Mr Harawira says the minister had failed to listen to iwi and local arguments against the plan.

“It's like dumping a mountain load of cars in the middle of the harbour which is the biggest snapper nursery in the whole country so if you want to eat snapper for breakfast, dinner, then stop the turbines because that turbine farm is gong to wipe out the snapper nursery,” he says.

Mr Harawira says Crest Energy is using untried technology.


The Health Ministry is looking to fill 500 scholarship places in its Maori workforce development programme.

Programme leader Renee Reweti of Te Whanau a Apanui says the scholarships cover a wide range of disciplines and levels, from dentists, doctors and health managers to dentistry and health management, to midwifery, nursing and diploma level courses.

She says Maori are under-represented throughout the health workforce.

Renee Reweti says the scholarships are available to anyone with a Maori whakapapa studying health at tertiary level, with applications closing next month.


Maori Television and boxer David Tua have ended their relationship on a positive note.

More than 300,000 viewers tuned in to Saturday night's bout against Demetrice King, which the 38-year-old Tua won comfortably on points.

Maori Television chief executive Jim Mather says the three-fight deal gave the Samoan a chance to get his stalled career back on track.

He says it was a mutually beneficial relationship, and the contractual terms have been honoured.

Mr Mather says David Tua's post-fight thanks to MTS was heart felt and well received.


Today's foreshore and seabed hikoi to Parliament will demand the return of taonga given to the Maori Party after its first year in Parliament.

Spokesperson Ropata Paora says the marchers will be joined by kaumatua and kuia from Kaipara and Tamaki Makaurau, who presented the two metre matau and punga or hook and anchor as a sign of support for their local MP, Hone Harawira.

He says the Maori Party MPs have not been true to the kaupapa represented by the taonga.

“The matau is also symbolic of knowledge and the moana and the anchor was to keep the roopu focused on the issues, the main one being the protection of our lands, forests and fisheries. We believe now the canoe has sailed so it may be better served somewhere else,” Mr Paora says.

The kaumatua have asked that the taonga be placed at the bottom of parliament's steps, so they don't have to go into the building to retrieve it.


Another of Labour's Maori MPs has broken ranks with leader Phil Goff over working with former Maori Party MP Hone harawira.

Mr Goff ruled out including the Tai Tokerau MP in his post-election planning because he says he was extreme and unreliable.

But Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says Mr Harawira has taken similar positions to Labour on issues such as the 90-day bill, raising the minimum wage, and greater protection for employee rights.

“But the real proof is what happens after election 2011 and I’ve been in politics long enough to know that the wind blows both ways and you can’t rule anyone in and out before that day. That’s the day that matters,” she says.

Ms Mahuta has confirmed she will stand again this year, despite stepping back in Labour's rankings for health and family reasons.


A south Taranaki iwi is unveiling a kohatu or stone in Otago today to honour ancestors held prisoner there during the land wars.

Ngati Ruanui chair Ngapari Nui says the group was taken there in 1869 after the end of the war against Titokowaru's forces.

He says while attention has been given to a later group of prisoners taken south after the invasion of Parihaka a decade later, his iwi needs to remember its own ... including those who never returned.

He says it’s telling Ngati Runanui’s history, instead of Parihaka’s history.

He says some of the Ngati Ruanui ancestors were arrested for a second time at Parihaka and again sent south.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Harawira keen to speak for suffering

Te Tai Tokorau MP Hone Harawira says his new political party will have a far wider focus than the foreshore and seabed.

Mr Harawira's objection to the Maori Party's continued support for National's Marine and Coastal Area Bill precipitates his split from the party, in an echo of Tariana Turia's departure from Labour.

He says other Maori are abandoning the Maori Party not just because of that issue but because its support for National is leading to rising costs, welfare cuts and tax breaks for the rich.

“The people suffering the most are Maori, our Pacific Island whanaunga, poor Pakeha as well. Everybody at the bottom ends of the scale is copping a hammering and somebody, some party needs to stand up and say no, this ends here, and here is the way we are going to do it,” Mr Harawira says.

The hikoi against the Marine and Coastal Area Act, which left Cape Reinga last week, is due to march on Parliament tomorrow morning.


A spokesperson for Te Uri o Hau wants to see wholesale ministerial resignations in the wake of the decision to allow an experimental tidal power plant in Kaipara harbour.

Mikaira Miru says the Ngati Whatua hapu still relies of the harbour for its food, which may be threatened by the plan to site three giant turbines at the entrance.

He says Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson, who gave the go ahead after the Environment Court turned down objections, has failed in her duty to protect.

He says Mrs Wilikinson, the Minister of Fisheries and the Minister for the Environment should all resign.

Mr Miru says the government has misjudged local opposition to Crest Energy's power scheme.


A Maori living at the centre of Christchurch's latest 5.1 aftershock says residents have little choice than to try to carry on as normal.

The aftershock struck at 9:47 last night about 10 kilometres below 145 Shortland St in Aranui, which runs alongside Nga Hau e Wha marae.

Josh Anderson, who lives at number 140, says it's lucky that most of his neighbours and family left the suburb after February's major quake.

He says his house has just been deemed liveable by Earthquake Commission, so despite a jumpy night life returns to normal.


The Children's Commissioner says more needs to be done to get quality childcare to all the country's children.

In a report released today on nonparental early childcare education, the commission said parents feel pressure to return to work early.

John Angus says greater emphasis needs to be given to the needs of infants and toddlers, including more support for
parental care of those under 12 months.

He says daycare isn't an option for some Maori parents, even if they want to take advantage of it, because providers of private childcare tend to invest in higher income areas where the y can get a return.

John Angus says there is evidence current policies and funding incentives are leading to less choice in childcare provision rather than flexibility.


The Institute of Professional Engineers wants more Maori to join their ranks.

Project manager Tracey Ayre says the institute has been looking at ways to get more women into the professions.

It soon realised there was also a visible lack of Maori in the higher skilled jobs, with fewer than 5 percent in the professions being Maori.

Tracey Ayre says women and Maori face similar barriers, from employers' attitudes to not being encouraged to study the science subjects at school which lead to wider opportunities.


A 28 Maori Battalion veteran says he looks at the news of what's going on in Libya in dismay.

Arthur Midwood says the fighting between Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi and civilian rebels takes him back to World War 2 battlefields like Acroma, Benghazi and Tobruk, where he watched so many of his comrades die.

The 92-year-old Rotorua resident says many more carried injuries for the rest of their lives, and the shrapnel he carries in his hip is a constant reminder of what went on in North Africa over 70 years ago.

He says when he returned to North Africa and Crete in 2006, all the graves marked New Zealand Soldier Name Unknown made an impression he will never forget.

Hikoi outmarches coalition’s bill push

The second foreshore and seabed hikoi makes its way down the Kapiti coast today from Otaki to Porirua, with the intention of marching on Parliament tomorrow.

Independent MP Hone Harawira says the aim of the hikoi is clearly to shame the Maori Party into withdrawing its support for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill at the final stage.

He says efforts by National and the Maori Party to get the bill passed before the hikoi arrived were foiled by spirited opposition by Labour, ACT and himself.

“Now unfortunately that hikoi is going to get to town before the third reading so I think what this is all about is maintaining pressure on the Maori Party, positive pressure I would like to think, positive and polite pressure,” Mr Harawira says.

He’s written to his former Maori Party colleagues asking them to withdraw their support for the bill.


Oral historian Paul Diamond says those collecting the stories of the dwindling numbers of fluent native speakers are providing an invaluable resource for the future.

Indigenous voices is one of the themes of next month’s National Oral History Association in Rotorua.

Mr Diamond says the historians will hear about some exciting projects in the Bay of Plenty, such as the Anglican Church’s effort to record native speakers.

He says the aim is to turn around the decline in the reo, so it does not become like Latin, which is only used as a ceremonial language.

The hui will also discuss Rangimarie Mahuika effort to strengthen Ngati Rangiwewehi’s tribal identity through collecting interviews, and there will be a tribute to the late Rotorua Historian, Don Stafford.


A concert featuring the country’s top kapa haka roopu has raised more than $100,000 for Christchurch earthquake relief.

The finalists from last month’s Te Matatini national championships reconvened in Rotorua at the weekend to encore their battle.

Organiser Trevor Maxwell the audience of more than 4000 was enthralled, and the teams were able to perform without the pressure of competion.


Organisers of the second foreshore and seabed hikoi say marchers have been bouyed by the number of Pakeha showing support.

The hikoi is will travel from Otaki to Porirua’s Takapuwahia Marae today, and on to Parliament tomorrow.

Wikatana Popata says 250 people joined the hikoi yesterday to marched through Palmerston North, including a number of Pakeha.

He says the Marine and Coastal Areas - Takutai Moana Bill – is a threat not just to Maori customary rights by to environmental protection.


The newest member of the Crown Forest Rental Trust says he wants to see the bicultural organisation show more of its Maori face.

Maanu Paul from the New Zealand Maori Council was appointed to the 22-year-old trust on the retirement of Sir Graham Latimer.

Long-serving Crown appointee Angela Foulkes was elected to the chair.

Mr Paul says many Maori still are unaware of the trust, despite the fact it has disbursed more than $150 million to claimants to research and negotiate their forestry claims.

“At the moment I seems that if you didn’t know the history and you were looking at the Crown Forest Rental Trust you would have to come to the conclusion that you could only see the Pakeha face on it but this is a joint effort between Maori and the Crown,” Mr Paul says.

He says despite the settlement of claims to the largest set of Crown forests in the central North Island, there is still a lot of work the trust needs to complete.


Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Hoani Waititi has returned to the top spot in the annual Auckland secondary schools cultural festival.

Polyfest spokesperson Dean Wilson says the four-day event now in its 36th year drew more than 9000 competitors and 90,000 spectators to the Manukau Sports bowl.

He says the division one win by the West Auckland kura was a popular one, with last year’s winner Nga Puna o Waiorea fromWestern Springs High School pushed into second.

The other division one runners up were Auckland Girls Grammar, Te Kapunga from James Cook High School and Massey High School.

In the Samoan section, Avondale College was finally trounced after nine years by Otahuhu College.