Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, April 08, 2011

Piripi turns down chance to take on Harawira

The chair of Northland's Te Rarawa iwi has turned down an approach to stand for the Maori Party in Tai Tokerau against independent Hone Harawira.

Haami Piripi says many members are unhappy the Maori Party is seen to have abandoned the north, and they want to rip up the non-compete agreement made with Mr Harawira.

He says with the alliance of four Muriwhenua iwi in the final stages of negotiating a treaty settlement, the time was not right to take on his former fellow protester.

He is committed to the idea the Maori Party should have a national presence.


Maori Party whip Te Ururoa Flavell says the government's $500 million bail-out of AMI insurance is in keeping with the spirit of whanauangatanga seen throughout the response to the Christchurch earthquakes.

Mr Flavell says the response by iwi and others shows New Zealander are not going to turn their backs on people affected by the disaster.

“We've seen that demonstration of that whananugatanga in the last couple of months and this sort of move by the government is along the same lines of whanau supporting whanau and one could say that New Zealand is a whanau when it comes to catastrophies,” he says.


An exhibition by leading Maori artist Robert Jahnke and his colleagues and students is attracting large audiences to the new Mangere Arts Centre.

Director James Pinker says many of those turning up were students when Mr Jahnke taught at Mangere College, before he headed south to head up Te Putahi a Toi school of Maori studies at Massey University in Palmerston North.

He says a catalogue of the show, which also includes work by Shane Cotton, Rachel Rakena, Jacob Davy and others, will be launched at 2 tomorrow afternoon with Jahnke speaking about the work.


Hundreds of people have been through Omahu Marae in Hastings over the past couple of days to pay tribute to Tuahine Joe Northover, who died on Wednesday at the age of 83.

Jeremy McLeod, the director of te reo and tikanga for Ngati Kahungunu Incorporated, says Mr Northover came originally from Te Whanau a Rakairoa hapu of Ngati Porou in Waipiro Bay.

After moving to the hawkes by in the 1950s, he served on many tribal and community groups and became one of Ngati Kahungunu's leading orators.

The funeral service for Joe Northover is at 11 am tomorrow at Omahu Marae.


A research programme which tries to measure whether respiratory illness in Maori infants can be cut by getting whanau not to smoke around babies is off to a positive start.

Whanau worker Eseta Nicholls says the 12-month Te Piripohotanga project now has more than the 200 mothers they needed on board to get robust data.

She says the smoking reduction part of the project is going well, with many mothers or their partners reducing or quitting smoking.

If the cost-effectiveness of the approach is provide, Te Piripohotanga ‘s backers will push for it to be more widely adopted in Maori health.


One of the largest ever exhibitions of ancient taonga and contemporary Maori art opens at Te Papa Tongarewa tomorrow.

Rhonda Paku, the national museum's senior curator for matauranga Maori, says E tu Ake - Standing Strong will run until June, when it starts its international tour.

She says it's great to see the work of artists like Shane Cotton, Robyn Kahukiwa, Lisa Reihana, and Fiona Pardington showcase alongside traditional work.

E tu Ake will open in Paris in October as the first step in a four year international tour.

Petrobras risks need explaining

Labour leader Phil Goff wants the government to reveal what if any environment protection measures are built into its agreement allowing Brazilian company PetroBras to prospect for oil off the East Coast.

A flotillia led by Te Whanau a Apanui and Greenpeace is currently protesting the seismic testing in the Raukumara Basin.

Mr Goff says apart from making bland assurances, the government refuses to answer questions about environmental protection.

“If they haven't secured that, then the deal shouldn’t go ahead until they’ve got a water tight guarantee that the top measures are in place to stop any incident and if the incident were to happen that that company would be paying full compensation for any damage done,” he says.

Mr Goff says last years drilling platform explosion in the Gulf of Mexico shows the absolute need for environmental protection to be part of any contract.


Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says uncertainty over insurance could drive an exodus of Maori homeowners from the Christchurch.

The Government yesterday stepped in with a $500 million guarantee from AMI, after the insurance company warned Christchurch earthquake claims were straining its resources.

Mr Taonui says many Maori with homes in the eastern suburbs are concerned not just about getting their houses fixed, but about whether they will be allowed to renew their insurance.

“There are people out there who are starting to weigh up in their own minds whether they just walk away from their properties. It’s going to take a year or more to get a house fixed and people are really worried about whether they will be able to sell their houses. It’s something that’s present in the back of hyour mind and I think it takes a toll on people over time,” Mr Taonui says.

HJe says Maori renters have already quit the city in large numbers, and many are unlikely to return.


Organisers of the annual Maori Historians’ Symposium want to find out where Maori history may go once the historical treaty claim process is complete.

Aroha Harris says the call has gone out for papers and presentations to He Rau Tumu Korero, which will be held at Auckland University in June.

She says over the past two decades many historians have been caught up producing work for the Waitangi Tribunal, which has led to narratives of resistance.

“We want to see, when we get to the end of our claims research, what other history will be left and that’s what I hope we get a sense of at this year’s symposium and we’re asking the question where is Maori history so people will think about where it’s located intellectually as well as kind of physically,” Dr Harris says.

She says the symposium is a place where maori historians can debate what is important to them, rather than being swamped within mainstream conferences.


The chair of Nelson's Ngati Tama says the iwi will keep fighting for an important kaimoana gathering area, despite its latest setback in the Supreme Court.

The court yesterday refused to change a Court of Appeal decision to cancel Te Huria Matenga Wakapuaka Trust's title to the Wakapuaka estuary, which the Maori land Court issued to back in 1998.

Fred te Miha says Ngati Tama has been through the courts seven times, and it's prepared to go back again.

“It's whakapapa land. We’ve had it forever. And we don’t believe the government has a right to take something that’s already owned. They keep telling us in the treaty settlements that you can’t touch private land but the government seems to be able to do it to Maori,” he says.

A hui at the weekend will decide Ngati Tama's next step.


Labour's associate education spokesperson says the government's decision to use public private partnerships to build two schools in the prime minister's Hobsonville electorate won't improve educational outcomes.

The primary and secondary school will be built and maintained by private operators before being handed over to the government in 25 years.

Kelvin Davis, a former intermediate school principal, says it reduces education to a money-making venture which carries great risk for the public.

He says even Infrastructure Minister Bill English has admitted the savings will be minimal.


The kai-arahi Maori at Massey University's college of sciences says more Maori might be encouraged to take up science subject if they could get past the stereotypes.

A new report on science education has pointed to persistent under-achievement in school science by Maori and Pacific pupils.

Nick Roskruge of Te Atiawa and Ngati Tama says many people have the mistaken view science is labs and white coats.

Science is about inquiry. It’s about learning about things and some of the mahi we do which is around crop production systems, we spend a fair bit of our time out on the paddocks or teaching people how to improve their growing of crops or looking for problems and how to respond to that, so a lot if it is community interaction as well,” he says.

Dr Roskruge says Maori science graduates need to encourage other Maori to pursue science careers.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Key wrong on offshore drilling risks - Greenpeace

A spokesperson for the coalition of iwi and environmental groups fighting deepsea oil exploration says the Prime Minister seems ill informed about the risks of the Petrobras operation off East Cape.

Yesterday John Key told Waatea News that Petrobras would not be drilling in waters as deep as those in the Gulf of Mexico where last year's BP disaster happened.

But Steve Abel from Greenpeace says the exploration zone in the Raukumara basin is two or three times deeper than where the doomed Deepwater Explorer was drilling.

“I certainly hope it give him pause to take another look at this proposition because perhaps he doesn’t realise the level of risk that is involved and perhaps he has been poorly advice by his ministry and the other ministers about the viability and safety of this practice,” Mr Abel says.

He says the oil industry's environmental record in the Taranaki offshore field isn't as good as the prime minister is making out.


Labour MP Shane Jones says Maori around the country are missing out while the Minister for Maori Affairs lavishes Rugby World Cup funds on his own electorate.

The list MP is contesting the Tamaki Makarau seat held by Pita Sharples.
Mr Jones says the $2 million to be spent on a waka shaped pavilion on the Auckland waterfront during the cup means there will be nothing left to promote Maori culture in other centres.

“The world cup is up and down Aotearoa. There’s a whole lot of other communities, I can guarantee you, they’re getting three cents of jack, and I’m just not happy that the entirety of this funding should have been made available to one hapu in only one part of New Zealand called Auckland when there are thousands of Maori up and down the country who won’t get a look in,” Mr Jones says.

He says there is nothing particularly Maori about building a plastic pavilion that will only be used for 17 days.


Maori-owned Kiwa Media Group will soon find out if it has made the top 40 in the United Nations-backed World Summit Awards for multimedia and electronic content.

Kiwa's QBook interactive digital book technology won the e-learning and education section of the New Zealand awards, and it will be scrutinised by the grand jury in Hong Kong over the next week.

Kiwa head Rhonda Kite of Te Aupouri says it's an honour to make the finals.

Other New Zealand finalists include the Gibson Group for an interactive video wall in Copenhagen, the MiniMonos online virtual world for children, the Sparx computerised self help program for young people with depression, and the Environment Ministry's LUCAS Land Use and Carbon Analysis System for tracking New Zealand's contribution to fighting climate change.


The Minister for Courts says Nga Hau e Wha Marae in Christchurch will provide a critical service by hosting criminal courts.

Georgina te Heuheu says the main meeting house will be used for up to 120 list cases a day from April 18.

She says with the main Durham St courthouse still behind a cordon, the marae is an important stopgap.

The marae trustees will transfer the mana of the marae to the ministry to allow its use as a court.

Georgina Te Heuheu says the marae will be used until the Justice Ministry can prepare the Maori Land Court building on Peterborough Street to hold the criminal list hearings.


Labour's Maori caucus has welcomed back Louisa Wall from Ngati Tuwheretoa, who is returning to parliament to take up the list seat vacated by Darren Hughes resignation.

Fellow MP Shane Jones says the former netball and rugby international turned union official knows her way round the building, having come in on a list seat in 2008.

He says the next eight months should help raise her profile in her run for the Manurewa seat at the election, and if she wins the safe labour seat she will have a long future in politics.


The author of a report recommending a radical overhaul of science education says teachers should exploit the natural interest that young Maori have in the natural world.

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister's chief science advisor, says Maori and Pacific students are under-achieving in the subject.
He says that needs to be addressed at primary school level and carried on through the education system.

“Maoris control and own a large amount of the resource of New Zealand and to exploit that optimally for the benefit of Maori requires use of science and technology in everything that we do,” Sir Peter says

Young Maori may be more interested in the sciences if they saw how it relates to opportunities in environmental protection, health, and other careers.

Herenga waka on Auckland waterfront

The designer of the $900,000 Waka Maori waterfront pavilion for the Rugby World Cup says it will be a great place to introduce foreign visitors to Maori culture.

Renata Blair from Ngati Whatua o Orakei says the 70 metre long structure on Auckland's Viaduct Basin will be made from the same high tech fabric as the Queens Wharf party central Cloud.

Over the 17-day carnival it will showcase Maori business and culture.

He says the inspiration was the idea of Auckland as Tamaki Herenga Waka, the place where canoes are moored.

“Everybody's going to explore their way around the world down to Aotearoa and so part of that exploration, people will be tied into something like a waka and travel so this is Maoris way of showing to the world that we are the greatest explorers in the world and also we are some of the greatest rugby players in the word so let’s combine the two at the World Cup,” Mr Blair says.

Ngati Whatua is putting up $100,000 of the $2 million cost of the overall project, with the rest coming from various government departments.


Agriculture Minister David Carter says improving governance and increasing training opportunities could help Maori landowners bring more land into production.

A report on Maori agribusiness prepared by his ministry estimated more than a million hectares of Maori land isn't delivering on its potential.

Mr Carter says the issues around multiply-owned Maori land are well known and need to be addressed.

“When they're multiple-owned, it is often difficult initially to get good governance structures that allow somebody to show some leadership and progress so governance is one of the big limitations we have identified. Next thing is many Maori haven’t got enough skills and education in the primary sector so governance and upskilling we need to address if we are going to unlock this huge potential,” Mr Carter says.

He says higher commodity prices should help Maori make the investments they need in their land.


The face of the It's Not OK anti-violence campaign says he's amazed at the maturity of the students he's spreading the message to in Taranaki.

Vic Tamati was asked by Taranaki Safe Families Trust to speak at eight secondary schools in the region.

He says the students are taking the issue seriously and respond to his story of overcoming his own anger issues after a violence-blighted childhood, and some have come up to say he is telling their own story.


Christchurch Maori academic Rawiri Taonui says many Maori are abandoning the city because they don't have an ownership stake in rebuilding it.

While there is no official count, Mr Taonui says number of children attending some kura kaupapa Maori has halved since the February quake.

He says many came from families renting state houses in the eastern suburbs.

“A lot of them have left the city because it’s not the same as owning a private house. There’s not the same sense you have to stay there and defend it and patch it up to the last so to speak and I think that’s one reason why they've left,” Mr Taonui says.

Maori who own their homes are also weighing up whether to leave, because it could be hard to reinsure houses in the eastern suburbs.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says attempts by acting Resource and Energy Minister Hekia Parata to down play the risks of drilling off the East Coast won't fool the locals.

Te Whanau a Apanui and Ms Parata's own Ngati Porou iwi are leading the charge against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras's prospecting off their coast.

She says as a new minister Ms Parata doesn't know the portfolio well enough to mount a credible argument.

“She might say nice words up there but she isn’t going to be able to deal with the hard issues which is this oil drilling is going to happen three kilometres down in the ocean floor and if anything bad happens New Zealand has no capacity at all to manage the environmental disaster that could occur and nothing she can say can fix that,” Ms Turei says.

She says National will eventually be forced to back down over deep sea oil drilling, as it did over mining in national parks.


Writer Witi ihimaera says he's like to see more Maori photographers extending on the innovations of the late Brian Brake.

An exhibition of 40 years of Brake's work is currently at Te Papa, including his distinctive images of the artifacts in the Te Maori exhibition of the 1980s.

Mr Ihimaera says his friend captured the wairua of the taonga and his images encouraged people to them as works of art rather than anthropological curiosities.

“Brian Brake would be really disappointed if we didn’t come along with our own people photographing our own work because I think then the art of Maori photography will really be seen because it will be coming from inside a Maori manawa and Maori ngakau,” he says.

Witi Ihimaera says Maori photographers like Maureen Lander, Norman Heke and Margaret Kawharu have taken some very fine catalogue photographs of Maori material.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Ngati Whatua defends waka pavilion

Ngati Whatua o Orakei says the waka-shaped pavillion which will be the centre for Auckland's Maori cultural activities during the Rugby World Cup takes up a tiny proportion of the event's $265 million promotion budget.

Spokesperson Ngarimu Blair says the high tech pavilion sited near the Queen's Wharf party central venue will showcase Maori arts, culture, business and enterprise.

He says the $2 million price tag is split between government ministries and the hapu.

“It is a marquee in the form of a waka. It’s not a real waka. It’s only $900,000. The other $1.1 million will go into the amazing events and activities we will put over the 17-day period. So it represents the typical Maori spend, the lower spend, and like everything we do it on the smell of an oily rag with awesome outcomes,” Mr Blair says.

Ngati Whatua developed the project because it was concerned the Rugby World Cup lacked a Maori face.


Associate Social Development Minister Tariana Turia says changing social attitudes to family violence means it's time to shift funds from the It's Not OK campaign to frontline services.

Mrs Turia says the Government spends $62 million a each year on contracted family violence services, including $1.6 million on It's Not OK.

It's shifting $11 million of that to five initiatives, including half a million dollars to get out the message that "It’s OK to ask for help" and the same amount for the E Tu Whanau campaign encouraging whanau to look after their own safety.

“I think back to when I was a kid. We had very little state intervention or service provider intervention in my families lives, in fact I don’t know of any Maori family at that time who were involved in the state, in fact there were very few. We’ve got to start restoring to ourselves the responsibility and right to take care of our own.
Mrs Turia says.

Some $8.5 million will go into a fund for direct services to families and whanau where family violence has occurred.


Palmerston North City council is considering introducing dedicated representation for Maori.

Council lawyer John Annabel says depending on population the city could have one or two Maori wards.

He says the aim is for a franchise based on the Maori electoral roll, rather that the appointment process that has caused so much controversy in the Auckland super city council.


Prime Minister John Key says the level of risk created by oil prospecting off East Cape is manageable and acceptable.

Te Whanau a Apanui is leading a protest against Brazilian oil giant Petrobras, which has a five year exploration permit.

Mr Key says the tribe's use of last year's Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico as an example of what can go wrong is misleading.

“Any offshore drilling operation, there’s obviously environmental risks, but New Zealand has proven it can manage those risks. I don’t think it’s in anywhere as deep water as we saw in the Gulf of Mexico and as the people of Taranaki will tell us, we have been very successful for a long time. We have high environmental standards and in fact the government is in the process of improving its environmental standards in the EEZ,” Mr Key says.

The Deepwater Horizon was drilling in 1500 metres of water when it exploded, while the drilling in the Raukumara Basin could be in up to 3000 metres of water.


Former associate tourism minister Dover Samuels says promoters of a $2 million waka shaped pavilion for Rugby World Cup events need to be careful they don't cheapen the Maori experience.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei is building the 70-metre long pavilion at Auckland's viaduct to host kapa haka performances, art and culture demonstrations and Maori trade events during the 17-day carnival.

Mr Samuels says the Maori business tours he hosted as minister unearthed a desire among foreign visitors for genuine experiences, and plastic or fiberglass copies don’t work.


The tourism company that took out the strategic planning prize at the University of Auckland Maori Business Awards says its success comes from the hard work of hapu members.

Wairakei Terraces near Taupo attracts 30,000 visitors a year to its living Maori village and artificial geothermal feature, created with silica-laden water diverted from Contact Energy's Wairakei bore field.

Chief executive Jim Hill of Ngati Tuwharetoa says it took sixteen years for the hapu to redevelop the geothermal attraction it lost in the 1960s when hot streams were diverted for the power station.

Wairakei Terraces is building a health clinic and spa to keep visitors coming through the off-peak winter months.

Taranaki boys get anti-violence message

The future of the It's Not OK anti-violence campaign may be in doubt pending next month's Budget, but the campaign's face is keeping as busy as ever.

Vic Tamati, who appears on the campaign's advertisements - is speaking at eight secondary schools in Taranaki this week.

Marion James from Taranaki Safe Families Trust, which organised the roadshow, says the aim was to get Mr Tamati before younger audience who might benefit from his experience of receiving ... and meting out ... domestic violence.

She says they focused on boys’ schools with high Maori rolls, because it’s important young men have good role models talking to them about family violence.

Ms James says from feedback so far Mr Tamati's message seems to be getting through.


New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says Maori would be a lot better off today if his compulsory superannuation plan had been adopted.

Mr Peters says because Maori are more likely to die younger than non-Maori, they are the big losers when it comes to collecting the superannuation they paid their taxes for.

“Now the compulsory super plan of 1997 was that if anyone died before age 65 their wife or husband or family would get the benefit of the savings from 40, 45 years of work,” he says.

Mr Peters says Maori people voted yes in the referendum at twice the rate of non-Maori.


A group of west Aucklanders has set up a Maori diabetes support group after undergoing a six-week self management programme run by Waitakere Hospital.

Airini Titirangi says the Manaaki Whanau Oranga group will pick up where the clinical programme left off.

It's an opportunity for whanau members and people with diabetes to come together, support each other and test out new behaviours.

Manaaki Whanau Oranga has already attracted about 30 members.


Labour MP Shane Jones says Maori want the party to stop wrangling over its leadership.

Pressure is coming on in the wake of the resignation of MP Darren Hughes, with former MPs and people close to the party saying Labour can't win the election with Phil Goff in charge.

But Mr Jones, who was deliberately left off the front bench in yesterday's reshuffle, it's not the issue Maori supporters are most concerned with.

“Talk of changing the leader is just going to worsen the prospects for Labour and many Maori, all they want us to do is to talk about the day to day issues that need to be addressed in order for them and their children to live more meaningful and empowering lives,” Mr Jones says.


A hikoi appears to have stemmed the anti-social behaviour of a small group of young people who were terrorising a Whangarei suburb.

Noreen Moorhouse, the president of the Otangarei branch of the Maori Women's Welfare League, says a group of mainly young teen girls was hanging out behing the local marae, breaking bottles, partying till all hours and graffitiing walls in the area.

She says more than 200 children and adults marched through the suburb last week in protest.

Graffiti seems to have eased off, and the girls are going home more.

Moreen Moorhouse says the hikoi included league members, pupils from two kura kaupapa and many residents both Maori and Pakeha.


Te Papa Tongarewa is using the return of traditional taonga Maori from a show in Japan to highlight some contemporary Maori Art.

Curator Rhonda Paku says E Tu Ake: Standing Strong displays the taonga tawhito alongside works by the likes of Shane Cotton, Robyn Kahukiwa, Lisa Reihana and Brett Graham.

She says people may be surprised how old taonga can speak to modern kaupapa.

“It shows that our contemporary artists are still drawing heavily on the kaupapa of our ancestors and from our art forms. Together it will be a stunning fusion of taonga tawhito and contemporary artwork with some really lovely stories as well as case studies of significant political activism of our people in the journey towards self-determination,” Ms Paku says.

E Tu Ake starts on Saturday.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Maori land law changes mooted

The co-author of a new report on the aspirations of Maori landowners says law changes are needed.

Whaimutu Dewes from Ngati Porou also helped write Te Turei Whenua Maori Act, which was passed in 1993 ... almost 20 years after the New Zealand Maori Council first called for an overhaul of Maori land law.

He says Maori society has changed, and while many Maori land trusts are working well, others struggle because the law does not meet current needs.

“Decision making processes were designed with a particular framework in mind and that is owners engaged, appointing their trustees or incorporation committees who then made decisions on their behalf. That was valid in the 1970s and even through the 80s. By the time we get to 2011 the one size fits all certainly needs examination now,” Mr Dewes says.

The report, which was done for Te Puni Kokiri, was released at the same time as a Ministry of Agriculture report which estimated more than 1 million hectares of Maori land is under-used or under-performing.


Auckland Mayor Len Brown wants the super city to replace Rotorua as the place where foreign visitors get introduced to Maoritanga.

The mayor is planning a round of hui to discuss how Maori see their role in the city's development over the next 30 years.

He says tourism is a part of that, and he doesn't want to see tourists arriving at Auckland International airport heading straight off to Rotorua.

“If they want to see tangata whenua, their first experience should be in Auckland and that might be at Orakei or Hoani Waitiiti. The sense of Auckland and its tourism products being first represented by the mana whenua, tangata whenua of our city is critical,” Mr Brown says.

He says the city also needs to plan for the resources coming back to mana whenua iwi through the claims process.


Labour Maori Affairs spokesperson Parekura Horomia says Petrobras should not under-estimate the cultural strength of Te Whanau a Apanui people.

An iwi-led is protest against the Brazilian oil giant's prospecting in the Raukumara basin drew 600 people and a flotilla of boats to Whangaparaoa Bay on the weekend.

Mr Horomia, whose Ikaroa Rawhiti electorate adjoins the iwi's rohe, says living out near East Cape makes people resilient.

“It takes a long time to get to Whananu a Apanui. They’re right out and that’s a real strength at Cape Runaway where they have preserved life as they know it and nobody should put it asunder. Those people are strong and steeped in their culture and they live it,” Mr Horomia says.


A leading member of the New Zealand Maori Council member wants Hone Harawira to call his new party the Treaty of Waitangi Party.

Maanu Paul says if the former Maori Party MP wants to contest the party vote in this year's election, he will need to appeal to voters beyond the Tai Tokerau seat he now holds.

He says a parliamentary party with the kaupapa of upholding the treaty should get widespread support.

“There is a huge groundswell of support by people other than Maori. A lot of Pakeha, a lot of new migrants, are supportive of the Treaty of Waitangi, are supportive of Maori getting a fair deal,” Mr Paul says.

He suggested to Mr Harawira he should join forces with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, but accepted the MP's view that there would not be room for the two leaders in one party.


Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples wants the Maori Affairs select committee to conduct an inquiry into the price of milk.

The Commerce Commission is considering an inquiry into whether the price of milk should be regulated.

Dr Sharples says after its success in taking the tobacco industry to task, the select committee would be an ideal body to find out why there is a big difference between what farmers get for their raw milk and what customers pay over the counter

“I just think special allowances for our home products; milk, meat, timber, all the things we produce plenty of and specialize in, there should be some allowance some way so that we don’t have to pay overseas prices or such high prices,” he says.

Dr Sharples says many Maori among those most affected by price increases.


The co-author of a new book on Maori oral health says bad teeth can mean bad job prospects.

Bridget Robson from the Eru Pomare research centre says because dental services are largely privately funded, many Maori miss out on preventive, restorative, or rehabilitative dental care.

She says this has long term social and economic effects, because of the stigma attached to having missing teeth.

Ms Robson says a WINZ-funded programme in Hamilton for people to get their teeth fixed, which led to people getting work.

Oranga Waha aims to promote more research into Maori Oral Health

Violence funds shifted to front line

The Associate Minister of Social Development, Tariana Turia, wants whanau to get more involved in stopping family violence.

Mrs Turia says next month's Budget will shift $11 million of the $62 million spent on family violence services into five new initiatives.

This includes a half million dollars for an E Tu Whanau campaign to encourage whanau to take actions which make their families safer.

“I do expect the money to be utilized at the front line where it will make the biggest difference and that is in the homes of families. We need to be stopping violence right there within the home,” Mrs Turia says.

She says while the It's Not Okay campaign led to a lot more people reporting family violence, there wasn't enough money allocated to follow up.


The Ministry of Health and the Health Research Council have mapped out a research agenda aimed at addressing the dire state of Maori oral health.

Oranga Waha - Oral Health Research Opportunities for Maori was launched at last week's Maori Dentists Association conference in Waitangi.

Co-author Bridget Robson says Maori are keen to get more information about how their health, what dentists are available and possible complications with diseases like diabetes.

“Our communities that were involved with partnership with this research were saying knowledge is power and they wanted a lot more information about their entitlements, how to look after their teeth and those of their whanau, especially people with disabilities,” Ms Robson says.

She hopes Oranga Waha will lead to a policy shift towards preventive care and restorative treatment, rather than just emergency dental care.


The Ngai Tahu Maori Rock Art Centre hopes to get one of its significant sites re-opened in time for next summer's peak visitor period.

The Takiroa site near Duntroon in North Otago was damaged by heavy rain and slips almost a year ago.

Amanda Symon says the latest geotechnical report is says the outcrop is stable, and people are assisting, such as the Otago Branch of the NZ Alpine Club which is abseiling to clear off loose rock.

Takiroa could be re-opened as early as September.

Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira is giving the public two weeks to come up with suggestions for a name for his new political waka.

He's indicated the decision will be made at the end of the month whether to create a left-leaning Maori-oriented party.

Mr Harawira says people have been suggesting possible names, so he's thrown the exercise open up for wider participation.

People can suggest names or vote on existing ones at hone.co.nz, or by ringing 0800 TOKERAU.

The names at the top of the list so far are the Mokopuna, Mana, Kaitiaki or Maui party.


Labour MP Shane Jones says new Labour Party president Moira Coatsworth is a friend of Maori.

The Coromandel-based child psychologist replaces Andrew Little, who stood down to concentrate on his run for the New Plymouth seat.

Shane Jones says she is a formidable personality within the party.

“She’s been a very strong supporter of developing, retaining and attracting Maori talent into the Labour Party. I think we are very fortunate having someone who wants to take on this role at a time where we are having to show sharp elbows in the world of the media to get adequate cover for our Labour message,” he says.

Mr Jones says Moira Coatsworth's long involvement in Coromandel anti-mining asnd other eco-issues is a strong credential at a time when mining and oil exploration are likely to be major election issues.


A te reo Maori teacher at Opunake High School, Rangiroa Rongonui, says Maori educators won't be celebrating yet at figures showing an achievement levels improving for Maori secondary students.

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority says last year 60.8 percent of Maori year 11 students gained level 1 NCEA, up from 56.8 percent in 2009.

Mr Rongonui, who is on the PPTA national executive, says there's still a gap, with the overall pass rate about 75 percent.

“For a number of years we’ve seen this trend that we still sit below so there is a concern among Maori and Pacific educators that this gap be closed,” he says.

Mr Rongonui says initiatives to improve Maori education achievements are working and need to be extended to all schools.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Jones keen to maintain poll direction

Labour MP Shane Jones says a poll showing he is making in-roads into Pita Sharples' support in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate should set the tone for the year's electioneering.

A Horizon Research poll taken last week showed the Maori Party co-leader is only five percentage points ahead of Mr Jones, compared with the more than two to one trouncing he gave Louisa Wall in 2008.

Mr Jones says Maori voters can see through the rhetoric.

“It does reflect I think a sense of disenchantment amongst the garden variety of Maori families in Tamaki Makaurau that the Maori Party has drifted away form them, the Maori Party became too enmeshed in historical grievances such as the seabed and foreshore which have very little to do with the day to day woes that Maori face,” Mr Jones says.

Horizon Research director Graham Colman says while the panel of 1,472 respondents means a margin of error of 2.6 percent nationwide, at an individual electorate level results are indicative only, with an 11 percent margin of error.


A Waitangi kaumatua says the turnout for a weekend foreshore and seabed protest in the Bay of Islands indicates feelings are still running high over the issue.

About 100 members of Ngati Rehia and Ngati Kawa gathered on the beach in front of Te Tii Marae to reinforce their claim of customary ownership of Peiwhairangi, the Bay of Islands.

Kingi Taurua says they want the Crown to acknowledge that, rather than making them jump through the hoops of court action or direct negotiation set by the new Marine and Coastal Area Takutai Moana Act.

“We believe we are the caretakers of the Treaty of Waitangi and the 1835 Declaration of Independence and in those articles it doesn’t day anything else but we have the right to the seas and our toanga.
Mr Taurua says.

The hui endorsed the stance Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira took against the legislation.


All the places for this year's Iron-Maori in Napier have been snapped up in just 11 minutes.

Organiser Healther Skipworth says the event is half an ironman competition, with individuals or teams of two or three competitors doing a 2 kilometre swim, 90 kilometre cycle and a 21.1 kilometre run.

She says the December event is attracting attention far outside Ngati Kahungunu, with big groups coming from Kaitaia, Wellington and Auckland, and some non-Maori athletes also signing up.

She says about 10 percent are elite competitors, and the rest just want to be part of a Maori event.

People can still go on a waiting list in case any of the 350 competitors drops out before December.


Whanau a Apanui says the iwi's fishing boats will join the Greenpeace flotilla protesting oil exploration by Brazilian company Petrobras.

The flotilla gathered in Whangaparaoa Bay west of Cape Runaway at the weekend.

Iwi spokesperson Rawiri Waititi says the next step is to drive away the boats undertaking a seismic survey in the Raukumara basin.

“Where they are proposing to drill in the Kermadec trench is in the migratory path of the sperm whales, hence the name Whangaparaoa, bay of the sperm whales,” he says.

Mr Waititi says the target area is three times the depth of the exploratory well that blew up in the Gulf of Mexico, and any accident could contaminate not only the Bay of Plenty and East Coast area but past Kaikoura in the South island.


Independent MP Hone Harawira says he's not setting out to replace the Maori Party.

A meeting of his Tai Tokerau electorate on the weekend gave Mr Harawira the go ahead to form a new party.

He says he will respect the agreement not to stand candidates against sitting Maori Party MPs.

“I'm not in this to fight the Maori Party, to try and break down the Maori Party. I’m in this because I think Maori people deserve a truly independent voice in Parliament and they don’t have one. If that can be achieved through the list without us having any conflict with the Maori Party, I would be just as happy,” Mr Harawira says.

The final decision on forming a party will be announced April 30 at Te Mahurehure marae in Auckland.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Hone Harawira's new party could be more of a threat to the Greens than to his former colleagues.

Mrs Turia says it's tragic the Tai Tokerau MP is talking about setting a party of the left, rather than one based on kaupapa or tikanga.

“I think that his party could have a huge impact on the Greens who of course are the most left wing party who do work quite hard to address what we would consider are left-wing issues,” she says.

Mrs Turia says it has taken years for Maori to be able to sit at the table with Government to advance their aspirations.

Gates welded shut at Maungatautari

A Waikato iwi has made good on its threat to ask the Maori Land Court to preserve public access to the Maungatautari ecological reserve.

Ngati Koroki spokesperson Willie Te Aho says the iwi sought an injunction last week when Maungatautari 4G4 Trust welded shut gates leading to the mountain.

He says while some landowners may be frustrated at the pace of negotiations over compensation for land in the reserve, the trust went too far.

“The act that was taken against Maungatautari was aggressive and trapped two people within the maunga and that’s why we’ve got our people in 24-7 guarding that entrance not only to protect the mana of our word to the public and to the Crown but more importantly from a health and safety issue to ensure no one suffers any personal injury,” Mr Te Aho says.

There are 20 separate blocks within the fenced reserve.


Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples is shrugging off a poll which shows him losing ground to Labour’s Shane Jones in his Tamaki Makaurau electorate.

With campaigning yet to start in earnest, Horizon Poll indicated Dr Sharples majority of 7540 would drop to just over 1000.

He believes the Maori Party still has strong backing.

“I stand on my track record and if I’m not elected, that’s fine. If people don’t want you, you don’t want to be there so I’ll just stand and if they think I’m still ok, I'll get in,” Dr Sharples says.


The new head of the Asthma Foundation wants to increase its focus on preventing asthma in children.

Angela Francis is a former deputy chief executive officer at the Eastern Bay of Plenty Primary Health Organisation.

She says Maori are two and a half times more likely to have asthma and respiratory problems than non-Maori, so it's important to work with organisations like the Smokefree Coalition.

She says smoking is a principal cause of asthma.

The Asthma Foundation might also look to closer links to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority, because helping people to keep their homes warm and dry is a way to prevent asthma.


Labour MP Shane Jones says iwi aren’t doing enough to ensure fair working conditions on foreign fishing boats that catch their quota for them.

A Sunday newspaper investigation revealed government awareness of low pay, sweatshop conditions and violence against workers on the boats.

Mr Jones, a former chair of the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission, says some iwi are working through shady agents.

“I don’t think anyone, when we conceived and executed the Sealord fisheries settlement, ever imagined that Maori quota would be swooped upon and used by unscrupulous agents as a basis for enriching themselves but treating Ukranians and Asians as a form of slave labour and unless the iwi quota owners can hop on top of their days of flicking the quota on for a quick buck may be very well coming to an end,” he says.

Mr Jones says it’s better for the industry and New Zealand’s reputation is iwi lease their quota to Sealord, which they own shares in.


Associate Corrections Minister Pita Sharples says a contract should be signed soon with Hawkes Bay iwi to help run the Whare Oranga Ake unit attached to Wakaria Prison.

The 32-bed Hastings unit and one at Spring Hill Prison south of Auckland will use a combination of work experience, tikanga-based counseling and whanau support to get Maori inmates back into the community faster.

Dr Sharples says his aim is to get the inmates out of the system once and for all.

“And hopefully recidivism, returning to prison, will be at a minimum if not nil for these (units), and imagine that, 64 less each six months, it’s going to be really amazing to the figures because we’re terribly overpopulated, Maori in the jails,” Dr Sharples says.


Bay of Plenty iwi Ngati Makino signed its $11.9 million settlement with the Crown at the weekend.

The iwi, whose rohe stretches from Maketu to Matata and inland to lakes Rotoiti and Rotoma, split from umbrella group Te Pumautanga o Te Arawa to seek a separate resolution to its historical claims.

Negotiator Annette Sykes says the process brought the iwi together and there was a sense of unity as a separate group within te Arawa, one not prepared to compromise like Te Pumautanga, and one proud to stand up as descendants of those called rebels for the fight their tipuna made.

She was gratified to see the large number of young people who turned out to the signing at Otamarakau marae near Maketu.