Waatea News Update

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

My Photo
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Friday, May 27, 2011

Iwi plea for chance to buy assets

Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan has made a direct appeal to the Prime Minister for iwi to get a chance to buy state assets.

John Key was invited by the tribe to open the new $65 million Novotel Auckland Airport hotel, which is 70 percent owned by Tainui Group Holdings.

Mr Morgan said he looked forward to talking with Mr Key after the election about National's policy of selling down state assets like the power generators and Air New Zealand.

“Alongside other iwi we will participate in what is a magnificent opportunity to secure shareholdings in some of this country’s high performing companies. Enduring relationships is what matters to this tribe. Governments come and go, corporates do have a finite life, but iwi are forever,” he says.

John Key said later that National still had work to do to convinced the public of the merits of asset sales, but Kiwi mums and dads would be the front of the queue, and there would be no special mechanism for iwi buyers.


Labour list MP Kelvin Davis says iwi should not be trying to help the government sell a privatisation plan that is unacceptable to the bulk of Maori.

Mr Davis, who lines up against his Te Tai Tokerau by-election rivals at Tau Henare marae in Pipiwai near Whangarei tonight, says selling power company and airline shares isn't going to help the struggling families in the electorate.

“We know as soon as assets are flogged off to supposed kiwi mums and dads, before you know it we will have overseas interests come in and snap them up and before we know it we will be paying our power bills in Beijing,” Mr Davis says.


Opposition from neighbouring landowners backed by cashed-up Trademe investor Gareth Morgan has led the Government to pull the plug on a settlement which would have returned the bulk of the Maungatautari ecological reserve to a Waikato hapu.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura negotiator Willie te Ahu says the deal was supposed to be signed on Monday.

But he says Treaty Negotiations minister Chris Finlayson called the hapu in this week to say he had asked retired High Court judge Sir David Thompkins QC to look into the landowners' concerns and their threats to cut the pest-proof fence.

“We were somewhat upset because we think it’s a minority of four farmers and a millionaire behind them with Gareth Morgan that’s actually going contrary to not only the iwi but the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust and the bulk of the community that are in favour of both the ecological island and the treaty settlement,” Mr Te Aho says.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura is still committed to getting legislation that will protect the special character of the bush-clad mountain.


The Government has appointed a retired High Court judge to look into the escalating row between a Waikato hapu and landowners around the Maungatautari ecological reserve.

A spokesperson for Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson confirmed Sir David Thompkins QC was called in after cabinet postponed a proposed settlement with Ngati Koroki Kahukura which was due to be signed on Monday.

Negotiator Willie te Aho says the hapu hopes Sir David will get to the bottom of the dispute which has led to some landowners threatening to cut the 45 kilometre long pest-proof fence around the central Waikato mountain.

“There's 24 landowners and only four of them with minor interests have been able to do the media thing and capture the attention of some politicians but I think we will get the in the long run,” Mr Te Aho says.


There's recriminations in the Maori Party about the selection of a political unknown to contest the high-profile Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

Co-leader Pita Sharples says the Maori Party's constitution gives the power to the electorate committees, so the leadership had no say in the selection of Solomon Tipene over actor and Ngati Hine leader Waihoroi Shorrtland and lawyer Mere Mangu.

But he says he's looking forward to getting behind Mr Tipene ... and he has a message for the north.

“We haven't turned our back on you, don’t you turn your back on us. We are the only independent Maori Party in Parliament in the history of Government in this New Zealand and if you kill us off now, I don’t think there will ever be another Maori Party that will gain the position that we have at this time,” Dr Sharples says.

He will campaign with Mr Tipene in the electorate next week.


Te Uri o Hau will decide on Sunday whether to place a rahui or ban over Kaipara harbour to protest against Crest Energy's proposed tidal power plant.

Spokesperson Mikaera Miru says Kaipara residents have shown overhelming opposition to the plans, which have been cleared by the Environment Court.

He says Sunday's hui at Pouto's Waiaretu Marae will decide whether a more traditional protest is called for.

“When the law fails, as an iwi we have no choice but to move to our own tribal tikanga or tribal customs to impose a rahui to do in effect what the statutory obligations should have fulfilled in the first place,” Mr Miru says.

The rahui would make tapu the area where the turbines are supposed to be placed, so Crest Energy staff or contractors could not enter.

Tainui hotel a taste of the best

The country's newest hotel is opening about now with a distinct Maori flavour.

King Tuheitia and prime minister John Key are doing the honours at the 260-room Novotel Auckland Airport, a joint venture between Tainui, the airport company and French hotel operator Accor.

Tainui Group Holdings chief executive Mike Pohio says the hotel not only includes sound reducing technologies so guests are not disturbed by aircraft noise, but it is designed with high quality local materials to give it a distinct Tainui flavour.

“This hotel has been developed specifically for its location. That includes all of the technical aspects like noise but it’s also being developed to give a presence for the entry and exit to New Zealand,” Mr Pohio says.

The downturn in the construction market means Tainui was able to complete the project under its $65 million budget.


Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says he finds it shameful that New Plymouth District Council still refuses to create dedicated seats for Maori.

Mr Horomia says this week's council decision shows the history of dispossession in the province continues, more than 150 years after settlers first provoked the war in Waitara.

He says the council is ignoring the lessons of Parihaka, where Maori used non-violent strategies to counter land confiscation.

“Te Whiti and Tohu said when their land was plundered and the British chased them, they said ‘they will take the land but only have the shadow because it is still within our soul,’ and the soul of Taranaki is still strong and people need to respect that,” Mr Horomia says.

He says Maori seats are a way for councils to acknowledge history and move on.


The Maori Party's Te Tai Tokorau by-election candidate says don't expect any mud-slinging in the campaign.

Solomon Tipene says he's looking forward to contesting the seat held by his great uncle Tau Henare from 1914 to 1948.

The 64-year-old says there are also family connections to his rivals, Labour's Kelvin Davis and Hone Harawira from the Mana party.

“Both Hone and Kelvin are my whanaunga. Long after politics comes and goes I have to work and live with these folk and the Maori Party is very clear that we will work with whichever party is in the house and if they want to focus on Maori issues, we will work with them,” Mr Tipene says.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says the government's housing budget is a national disgrace and will hurt Maori.

Ms Turei says the country is suffering a major housing crisis, with substandard and overcrowded living conditions leading to health and social problems.

She says this year's budget allocates just $9 million to Housing new Zealand, compared with the $80 to $90 million a year in extra spending under the previous government.

“There's a huge amount of poverty that our country faces, Maori in particular, that’s a direct result of miserable housing and so for government to say ‘we’re just not interested in it any more’ is a total disgrace,” Ms Turei says.

She says poor housing leads to both family upheaval and childhood illnesses which contributes to lower educational achievement among Maori.


Te Tai Tokerau candidate Hone Harawira says his model for resolving the foreshore and seabed issue could be used to protect the country being bought up by foreign owners.

Mr Harawira's idea, rejected by his then-Maori Party colleagues and their coalition partner, was for the coast to be put into a tupuna title and held for Maori.

He says if significant public assets were put in such a title, it would ensure they would be there for all time for all new Zealanders.

“I think we should be initiating principles to ensure that godzone remains in the hands of god’s children. That’s us. No offence to everyone else in the rest of the world but this is a beautiful land and it’s our duty and our responsibility to protect it for our children and our grandchildren, and one way to do that is legislate it so it never gets lost again,” Mr Harawira says.


A reconciliation day between Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson and Ngati Raukawa Settlement Trust has revealed divisions in the south Waikato iwi about the claim process.

The Raukawa Settlement Trust says Wednesday's hui at Papa-o-Te-Aroha Marae in Tokoroa was modeled on South Africa's truth and reconciliation commission, and gave iwi members a chance to tell Crown officials of their pain.

But claimant Sharon Clair says that should have been done through the Waitangi Tribunal process ... which the trust has by-passed in its rush to instigate direct negotiations.

“Because of the direct negotiation process, it’s all happened too fast and too rushed and the communication isn’t flowing easy and there is a break down in relation ships and a convoluted mess really of concerns,” she says.

Ms Clair says she intends to ask the tribunal to separate out her claims so she and her hapu can pursue a separate settlement.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fundraising focus for early part of campaign

Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate Hone Harawira is waking up to the realities of campaigning without a parliamentary salary or travel perks.

Mr Harawira quit parliament last week to seek a mandate for his new Mana Party.

He says having thrown himself on the mercy of the voters, he's humbled at the response.

“I am seriously embarrassed and humbled by the support I am getting both financially and just in terms of the tautoko on the streets. It’s really awesome. Old people coming up to you squeezing money into your hand and you know it’s a lot of money, you can feel it’s a lot of money, and they say ‘keep on going son.’ I don’t even know some of them,” he says.

Mr Harawira will be roasted tonight by comedian Mike King in a fundraiser at a Karangahape Rd bar in central Auckland ... out of the electorate.


The chair of Auckland's Maori statutory board says it isn't a substitute for the council forming relationships with Maori in the super city.

David Taipari says this week's first formal quarterly meeting between the board and council set the tone for the relationship, and future meetings will deal with specific issues that come up in the course of council business.

He says the council needs to consider the Maori dimension in everything it does.

“Truly the partnership must be with the Maori themselves. The board is but a facilitator of that partnership, to encourage and to direct council of the best ways forward to engage with Maori, That’s where the true partnership is, so the establishment of the board is just a vehicle to create the opportunity for all Maori in the region,” Mr Taipari says.

He says the awkwardness over the board's funding is now over, and the parties are negotiating next year's budget.


Ngati Raukawa has put the Crown on the spot, summoning Ministers and officials to Papa-o-Te-Aroha Marae in Tokoroa for what it billed as a reconciliation day.

Chris McKenzie, the Raukawa Settlement Trust's chair and chief negotiator, says the south Waikato iwi is still a few months away from completing its settlement agreement.
He says because it has gone for direct negotiation, tribe members didn't have a chance to air their grievances before a forum like the Waitangi Tribunal.

“What we find is with direct negotiations, the conversation revolves around money and land and not about the actual mamae of the claimants so the claimants never have an opportunity to speak to those in power abut the hurt and frustration they feel about being claimants,” Mr McKenzie says.

He says the reconciliation days was inspired by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who instigated the truth and reconciliation commission to bring the perpetrators and victims of Apartheid together.


Tainui's new hotel at Auckland Airport has been completed on time and under budget.

The 260-room hotel by the entrance to the international terminal will be opened at dawn tomorrow by King Tuheitia and the prime minister, and it will be open for guests later in the morning.

Mike Pohio, the chief executive of Tainui Group Holdings, says the tribe is thrilled with the building, and the fact the project came in comfortably under its $65 million budget.

“We built it at a time that, with the down turn in the economy, we had some very sharp pricing and some keenness from the construction company and the consultant. We were fortunate in our timing,” Mr Pohio says.

Tainui owns 70 percent of the hotel, with the balance held by Auckland International Airport and hotel operator Accor


The chief executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana says foreign-owned vessels are an inevitable part of the Maori fishing industry.

Peter Douglas says criticism of the practice at this week's Maori fisheries conference by Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley and Maori Party MP Rahui Katene was unwarranted, as the practice is widespread throughout the marine industry.

He says the Maori fisheries settlement allocation process left iwi with mixed packages of inshore and deepwater quota which give them little incentive to invest in their own boats.

“Sometimes the only way you can get the best return on those assets is to use the vessels that are of a size that they can catch the quota, the species of a range of tribal assets. Unfortunately those vessels aren’t New Zealand vessels. Those are big vessels that are foreign owned and operated. They are able to make the best use of assets that tribes own,” Mr Douglas says.

Te Ohu Kaimoana's fishing subsidiaries comply with industry codes of practice when they contract with foreign vessels.


While the spotlight has been on Ngati Porou's newest knight, Sir Tamati Reedy, Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Parekura Horomia says people on the coast are noting the contribution of his wife, Te Koingo Tilly Reedy.

The leading Maori educationalist was dubbed yesterday at his home marae at Hiruharama Pa south of Ruatoria.

Mr Horomia says the Reedys are known as a formidable team, with Lady Reedy as committed to the kaupapa of language revival as her husband.

MPs attack on Maori fishing ignored facts

The chief executive of Te Ohu Kaimoana says criticism of Maori fishing practices is unwarranted and based on flawed advice.

At this week's Maui fisheries conference in Nelson, both Fisheries Minister Phil Heatley and Maori Party MP Rahui Katene raised the issue of use of foreign crews to catch Maori quota.

Peter Douglas says the practice is widespread throughout the industry, and the Maori fisheries trust's commercial subsidiaries comply with an industry code of practice aimed at ensuring crews aren't mistreated.

“Sealord has three vessels which are foreign-owned and foreign-crewed. They’ve had these arrangements for close to 20 years. The crews are all paid in New Zealand before they go home, they’ve got a relationship with those operators and the people who run and work on those ships that is long standing and is mutually beneficial to both sides,” Mr Douglas says.

While some iwi may want to own fishing vessels, few have large enough parcels of quota to make them economic.


New Plymouth district councillor Howie Tamati says Taranaki Maori are upset at the council's refusal to create separate Maori seats.

About 60 Maori attended the council's meeting to discuss advice from Race Relations commissioner Joris de Bres that such seats were justified ... and walked out in disgust when the motion was rejected.

Mr Tamati says the council is falling down in its attempts to create a partnership with the region's iwi.

“They're happy for us to conduct the ceremonial part of things, powhiri, say karakia at the beginning of the huis and also mihimihi and they allow kaumatua in at special times to represent New Plymouth but they don’t allow them to vote, so is that tokenism?” he says.

Mr Tamati says Maori were keen for the council to make a decision, rather than put it as a referendum question in the 2013 local government election.


Te Arawa has welcomed a trove of long-lost taonga to their turangawaewae.

Greg Mcmanus, the director of the Rotorua Museum, says the items include a model war canoe and a greenstone adze which have been in the British museum for more than a century, as well as gateways and carvings from museums around New Zealand which are on five-year loan.

He says emotions ran high at the meeting house Tama te kapua as the artifacts were brought in.

The taonga will go on display at the museum's new Don Stafford wing in August.


The Maori Party's Te Tai Tokerau candidate says the best thing he's got going for him is the party's brand.

Solomon Tipene, the party's Whangarei co-chair, says with 40 years of public and private sector experience, he offers voters the stability they haven't had with Hone Harawira.

He says people assume that as the incumbent Mr Harawira has an advantage in the June 25 by-election, but they should remember he win the seat under the banner of the Maori party, not his new Mana party.

“One of the things that attracts the voters is the Maori Party. Maori Party has a proven track record, Maori Party is in the house, and that’s one of the things people warm to. Maori Party is still in the house, Maori Party is still in coalition and Maori Party is still supporting those issues that have an impact on our people up in the north here,” Mr Tipene says.


Meanwhile, Hone Harawira's campaign team is treating its first major Auckland event as a bit of a joke.

It's holding a fundraiser in a Maori-owned bar on Karangahape Rd, headlined by comedian Mike king.

Organiser Helen Te Hira says the team will be working hard in the weeks ahead, so it wanted to start with something different.

“Kicking off you know let’s start off with a good laugh and raise some money. People want to help out and they can’t all be at huis. They’ve got to go to work or whatever. Starting off with a good laugh on a Thursday night in Auckland is a good way to do that,” Ms Te Hira says.


Outgoing Maori Trustee John Paki says his successor will play an important role in developing the Maori economy.

The job of managing 2000 properties on behalf of 130,000 beneficial owners has gone to lawyer Jamie Tuuta of Ngati Mutunga, who currently chairs several Maori land trusts including Taranki's giant Paraninihi ki Waitotara Incorporation.

Mr Paki says after managing the Maori trust office's transition to being a stand-alone entity outside the Crown, he's pleased to see it in such good hands.

“It's developing business to business relationships with Maori asset-holding entities and iwi organisations who are seeking to develop shared working relationships with the Maori trustee and I think we are succeeding with that and moving the organization forward which is a different approach from previously when the Maori Trustee was under the guidance of government,” Mr Paki says.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Solomon Tipene chosen for Te Tai Tokerau run

Maori Party president Pem Bird says that while the party's Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate is not a national figure, he is well-known and respected in the electorate.

He says Solomon Tipene, the co-chair of the party's Whangarei branch, was the selection panel's unanimous choice ahead of Ngati Hine leader Waihoroi Shortland and lawyer Mere Mangu.

“He's well grounded in the ways of his old people, he’s had huge experience in the public service and local government also but he is a very dignified person, comes across as a humble person,” Mr Bird says.

He is confident Mr Tipene will win back the electorate for the Maori Party on June 25 against immediate past MP Hone Harawira and Labour's Kelvin Davis.


Ngai Tahu chairman Mark Solomon says Maori fishing businesses will have got a boost out of this week's Maui national fisheries hui in Nelson.

More than 200 delegates from iwi and fishing businesses heard from industry leaders and government representatives.

Mr Solomon says such hui are not just about sharing knowledge, but they help cement the relationships that will allow iwi to grow their wealth.

“The biggest advantage we have is the economies of scale if we do work together, and those sort of dialogues ore going on all over the country at the moment, looking at it as a concept,” Mr Solomon says.


Today's investiture of Sir Tamati Reedy in the shadow of Mount Hikurangi turned into a celebration of te reo Maori.

Broadcaster Whai Ngata says iwi from around the country joined Ngati Porou at Hiruharama Pa south of Ruatoria to witness governor general Sir Anand Satyanand bestow the title of knight companion of the New Zealand Order of merit on the tribal leader and educator.

He says the contributions of pupils from the areas schools bore witness to the work Sir Tamati has done reviving and strengthening the language.


The Maori Party's candidate for the Te Tai Tokerau by-election says he wants to restore stability to Maori politics of the north.

Solomon Tipene, the iwi relationships manager for the Whangarei District Council, was selected ahead of Ngati Hine chairperson Waihoroi Shortland and lawyer Mere Mangu.

He says unlike Hone Harawira, who forced the by-election to seek a mandate for his new Mana Party, he's not a waka jumper.

“We need some stability, we need to build confidence, we need to bring all of those things together and give our people some choices up here. I’m convinced by my own analysis that all our original Maori Party supporters are looking for that and may the best person win,” Mr Tipene says.


The Ngai Tahu runanga is in no hurry to get back into its central Christchurch headquarters, despite news its unstable neighbour is to be demolished.

Earthquake recovery minister Gerry Brownlee today announced that Fletcher Building had been given a contract to pull down the Grand Chancellor hotel, which has been on a lean since the February earthquake.

It could take up to a year to deconstruct the 26-storey, but Ngai Tahu chair Mark Solomon says the runanga is taking care of business from its temporary premises on former defence force land at Wigram.

While its tourism businesses are suffering from a 15 percent drop in visitor numbers, the other businesses are doing business as usual.

Mark Solomon says Ngai Tahu expects to be based at Wigram for at least the next two years.


South Auckland Maori health provider Hapai te Hauora believes its first youth awards have gone some way to turning around the negative stereotypes associated with the region's rangatahi.

Organiser Thomas Strickland says last night's awards came out of a series of hui looking at the region's problems.

He says they garnered a large number of entries, with some amazing stories of the work rangatahi have done in their communities around issues like bullying and drug use.

Comments sought on Mana Party name

Mana Party president Matt McCarten says Hone Harawira will be standing under the party's banner in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election, even if the party is not formally registered in time.

The Electoral Commission today opened a two-week period for comment on the name, after which the application will be considered by the commission.

Mr McCarten says he's hopes the process can be completed by the June 25 polling date.

“Even if the party is not registered, Hone can stand as a Mana candidate on the basis of the application has been received,” he says.

Mr McCarten says as the leader of a registered party, if he is reelected Hone Harawira would get a front bench seat in parliament and the right to speak on all topics.

Meanwhile, the Maori Party interviewed its three prospective Te Tai tokerau candidates last night, and will announce its choice today.


Hauraki - Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta says trade training will be a top priority for the next Labour government.

Ms Mahuta says young Maori make up a disproportionate number of the jobless.

She says many need training to get on the employment ladder, but they don't have the means.

“Labour will lead opportunities that ensure businesses provide openings for our kids to earn while they learn and that goes beyond Auckland, it goes into communities like Hamilton, Te Kuiti, Thames, those smaller towns that if that if we actively partner with those businesses, our kids don’t need to leave home while they earn while they learn,” Ms Mahuta says.

She says if rangatahi get job training where they live, they are more likely to stay in the area and eventually become the owners of the businesses.


Playmarket is calling for scripts for its Brown Ink clinic, which give Maori and Pasifika playwrights the chance to get their stories onto the stage.

Advisor Jenni Heka says the selected writers will get advice on their script from established playwrights, and then have a full day clinic with a script advisor, director and actors.

She says it's about building relationships and the playwright's confidence.

Applications for the Brown Ink clinic close in July.


A member of the new National Maori Broadband Working Group says one of its main tasks will be ensuring Maori don't fall through the cracks of the digital divide.

Nga Pu Waea was set up to provide Maori input into the rural broadband initiative, and its mandate was extended yesterday to cover the delivery of ultra fast broadband to urban areas.

Antony Royal of Ngati Raukawa says as expected Telecom got the lion's share of the UFB contract, so it's important Nga Pu Waea develops a good relationship with the company in the months and years ahead so Maori can benefit from the technology.

“Step one is we need to be able to make sure the access is affordable. Step two is then to start to look at ideas and ways in which people use this and help people create jobs, create opportunities, create all the kinds of things that connectivity will allow us to do,” Mr Royal says.

He's pleased Enable Networks got the contract to deliver ultra-fast broadband to Christchruch, because that will allow a comparison on whether community-based providers can perform better than the commercial supplier.


Under the shadow of Hikurangi, more than 500 people from iwi around the motu are gathering at Hiruharama Pa south of Ruatoria this morning to witness the investiture of Sir Tamati Muturangi Reedy.

The Ngati Porou leader and educationalist was made a knight companion of the New Zealand Order of merit in the New Year's Honours list.

After an extensive career in secondary schooling, Sir Tamati served as head of the Department of Maori Affairs from 1983 to 1989, before moving into tertiary education as Waikato University's foundation professor of Maori and Pacific development.

The ceremony will be performed by Governor general Sir Anand Satyanand at noon.


Fresh from finishing a book called The Hungy Heart about missionary William Colenso, writer Peter Wells is taking on the story of a man who ate eyeballs.

The Hawkes Bay resident has been awarded the $100,000 Creative New Zealand Michael King Writers’ Fellowship to research and write a book about the 1871 trial in Napier of Kereopa Te Rau, who was hanged for the murder of missionary Carl Volkner in Opotiki in 1865.

He says the only Pakeha to speak up for Te Rau during the trial were Colenso and Sister Mary Aubert.

“It was a very inflammatory situation where Kereopa Te Rau had swallowed the eyes of Volkner and he became a kind of Osama Bin Laden figure for Pakeha people,” Mr Wells says.

The book, to be called Sparrow on a Rooftop, will be written as a mix of non-fiction, fiction and memoir as a portrait of a formative period of New Zealand history.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bigger grants trial for community development

A scheme which has been a valuable sources of funds for Maori development is being restructured.

Tariana Turia, the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector says she's pulling $1.5 million a year out of the Community Organisations Grant Scheme.

She's keen for communities to take a different approach to their development with longer term investments, rather than the money being spent on a multitude of small projects.

“Groups will get about $200,000 each, we’ll have five communities that will receive that money and the reason why we’ve done it is because the majority of community groups get between $3500 and $5000 per community organisation grant, not a lot of money, certainly not enough to do anything of real value with,” Mrs Turia says.

The grants will go to communities in Northland, Auckland, Wellington, and the lower South Island.


Labour MP Shane Jones says the policy mix released at the party's weekend congress should make National a one term government.

He says Labour has reiterated its commitment to winning back the Maori seats, and it's pushing things like trade training that will get young Maori into jobs.

He says people are getting sick of a Government that favours wealthy farmers over ordinary taxpayers.

“If they don’t like the notion of having to meet their obligations under the emissions trading scheme, why the hell should the taxpayers have to do it. They’re more than capable of meeting that burden. And that’s why we’ve said they need to meet it come 2013 rather than it being put off into the never never land. I mean the Government’s about to spend half a billion subsidizing water and irrigation development for the farming sector so they can give something,” Mr Jones says.

He says all Labour needs to do is pick up another 2000 votes in each electorate to be in a position to form a coalition government.


Ngai Tahu leader Mark Solomon is the Government's national policy statement of fresh water looks good from his iwi's perspective.

The statement has come under fire from the Maori Council, which says it doesn't give local authorities the clear direction and enforcement powers they need to clean up the country's lakes and rivers.

But Mr Solomon says it will meet the South Island tribe's commercial and environmental needs.

“We think what they’ve come out with does lead towards kaitiakitanga. It does put timeframes. It does put responsibility on the territorial local authorities to introduce process so it looks good on paper,” he says.

Mr Solomon says a national discussion still needs to be held on what the rights and ownership iwi hold water.


Otago University researchers are warning doctors not to give Maori and Pacific Islanders a standard medication for acute heart disease.

Dr Garry Nixon from the department of general practice and rural health says an Australian study found a high chance that streptokinase did not work on Aboriginal people from communities with high rates of the same streptococcal infection that leads to rheumatic fever.

He says a matching study of 180 patients from the Hokianga, Thames and Central Otago admitted to hospital with a suspected heart attack came to similar conclusions.

“One of the problems is just about all the big drug trials are done on populations which are almost solely Caucasian. We always assume that we can translate those results to other ethnic groups but on the odd occasion it’s not correct and it’s probably not correct in this situation,” Dr Nixon says.

The research justifies a move to a new class of more expensive drugs ... but the areas they are most needed have been the last to adopt them.


Collaboration has been at the top of the agenda of this week's National Maori Fisheries Conference.

Organiser Maria Pera from the Treaty Tribes Coalition says more than 200 people are in Nelson to hear from iwi, government and fishing industry leaders.

She says as iwi manage their own fisheries assets, rather than just lease quota each year from Te Ohu Kaimoana, they are learning they need to work together to crack export markets.

“Maori have great opportunity here to be world price setters and leaders in this industry and I guess it’s around how we do that, how we collaborate, how our scale comes together, and how we push that onto the global market,” Ms Pera says.

A big absence at the conference is former Te Ohu Kaimoana chair Ngahiwi Tomoana of Ngati Kahungunu, who was dropped from the fisheries settlement trust this month by He Kawai Taumata electoral college.


Labour's Te Tai Tokerau candidate Kelvin Davis is welcoming his party's endorsement of Whanau Ora.

In her speech to the party's congress at the weekend, deputy leader Annette King said the Maori Party-instigated model for integrating services for the most vulnerable families is something that had to happen.

Mr Davis says he's keen for whanau ora to succeed.

“I've had enough of Maori being at the bottom of all the socioeconomic indicators and I sincerely hope it’s successful. I think Labour was doing a lot of what Whanau Ora is saying it will do so I’m glad to hear Annette King say that,” he says.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Poverty no excuse for child abuse

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Maori must stop blaming poverty for child abuse.

The Associate Social Development Minister this month launched a new hohourongo (family violence) whanau intervention programme for the Auckland District Health Board area.

She says her generation finds it hard to understand how children are treated.

“All of us grew up in very poor households. This is about our behaviour, not our income, and we’ve got to stop this in its tracks and all; of us, every single one of us in our communities are gong to have to step forward and make sure we are making everybody in our street our business,” Mrs Turia says.

Abuse of alcohol and drugs seems to be the major contributing factor to child abuse.


Labour's Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate says he's humbled by the backing the party is giving him.

The by-election was a major talking point at the party's election year congress over the weekend, with new president Moira Coatsworth emphasising the party's commitment to the Maori seats,

Kelvin Davis says the commitment he got from all levels of the organisation indicated Labour's determination to do well.

“There was just unanimous support for the fact we are contesting Te Tai Tokerau. That’s members of the party everyone who was there, knows the Maori seats are important to use as Labour and we are keen to win those seats back,” he says.

A good showing in Te Taitokerau will help with the campaign for the other Maori seats in November's general election.


Maori Televison chief executive Jim Mather says the weekend's telethon shows the value of being a state broadcaster.

The 12-hour Rise Up Christchurch telethon raised more than $2.5 million for earthquake relief.

Mr Mather says the channel brought together private sponsors such as Fontera and state funders including te Mangai Pahu and te Puni Kokori competition between channel personalities was able to be put aside.


Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says National has been courageous in providing dedicated money to Maori initiatives in an election year.

She says the Maori Party was able to secure $213 million of spending in the Budget when virtually every other area of spending got cut back.
Mrs Turia contrasted it with Labour's approach in Government.

“When Don Brash was in before (as National’s leader), when he started speaking anti-Maori, Labour really got speed wobbles and they tried to mainstream absolutely everything and they wouldn’t give any dedicated money to Maori at that time so we’re really pleased because it is unusual for a Government to do this,” she says.

Mrs Turia says in the two and a half years the Maori Party has been in coalition with National it has secured more than $600 million for Maori initiatives.


But Labour MP Shane Jones is questioning the Maori Party's maths.

He says Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia must hope their supporters can't read a budget, and can't tell the difference between new spending and existing funds which have been renamed.

“I did get Pita (Sharples) statement, I think it was $623 million, I’ve got three university qualifications, I couldn’t make it add up, so maybe these kura kaupapas that he’s strengthening, maybe he needs to go back there and get an abacus and work out how to add,” Mr Jones says.

His best estimate of new spending won by the Maori Party is $25 million.


Auckland Maori wardens are keen to get a rehabilitation programme developed by the Church of Scientology into the country's prisons.

Criminon, which was developed in New Zealand 40 years ago and is now used in 35 countries, offers courses in drug detoxification, ethical behavior, literacy, anger management and parenting skills.

Jack Taumaunu, the chair of the Waitemata Maori Wardens Trust, says it offers a way forward for the large number of Maori in prison, and could give prisoners skills to teach others alternatives to crime when they get out.

He says the wardens have a license to run the programme from ABLE (Association for Better Living and Education) International, which runs courses in Israel, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Mangatu land loss part of soul

The Mangatu Incorporation keen to back before the Waitangi Tribunal so it can seek a binding order for 3400 hectares of forest land taken from it in 1961.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the tribunal was wrong to deny the 120-year-old incorporation a hearing on its challenge to the proposed settlement with Te Aitanga a Mahaaki, which includes the land.

Chairperson Alan Haronga says the Crown’s policy of dealing with large natural groupings of iwi ignored the legal rights of the incorporation’s 5000 shareholders, who have a special relationship to the land.

“The value in economic terms is not great. There’s probably a range from probably negative to $3-4 million but it’s the principle. It’s like a part of your soul that was there that then went and they were in breach and we want it back,” he says.

Mr Haronga from the land was highly productive when the Crown forced Mangatu Incorporation to sell it, and the sale price reflected only a few season’s earnings.


National Party leader John Key says the party’s Mangere candidate is an example of the caliber of Maori being attracted to the cause.

Mr Key says no one expects television producer and former presenter Claudette Hauiti to win the safe Labour seat, but she should raise the party’s profile in the area.

“It’s obviously a difficult seat from our perspective. We’re really searching for the party vote there. No one’s expecting Claudette to win but equally I think she can put up a really strong showing. She a great candidate. We’re trying to bring in more Maori candidates to parliament. From National’s perspective, we’ve got quite a good grouping now,” Mr Key says.


Artist George Nuku says a restored waka will be a highlight of the National Museum of Scotland when it reopens in July after a two-year refurbishment.

Mr Nuku has been working on the waka, believed to be the largest held outside New Zealand.

In as acquired as a souvenir in the 1820s by Lord Thomas Brisbane, then governor of New South Wales, and has been in the museum’s collection since the 1850s.

Mr Nuku says it was in a sorry state, but it has been rebuilt with Perspex replacing the middle elements, and it will be the centerpiece of the Maori and Pacific gallery.

He has also been working on the fitting out of the Maori and Pacific court at a new museum in Antwerp, Belgium.


Ngati Manuhiri says the return of a 1.2 hectare block on Hauturu-Little Barrier Island will allow it to give symbolic recognition of its ancestors.

The iwi, which holds the mana from Whangaparaoa Peninsula to Mangawhai north of Auckland, signed a $9 million deed of settlement on Saturday.

Chief negotiator Laly Haddon says while the Crown will continue to administer the island sanctuary, the iwi will always remember the removal of its tupuna in 1894.

“Rahui te Kiri and Tenetahi were taken off there by soldiers and they were the last to leave. They never took any money. That was their homeland and we are now going to make sure that our footprint is protected there forever,” Mr Haddon says.

Ngati Manuhiri’s use of its land will be in keeping with DOC's conservation activities on the rest of the island.


Labour's Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate says the Government should pick up funding for the Red Cross schools’ breakfast programme.

Supermarket chain Countdown has pulled its sponsorship of the scheme, which services 61 low decile schools.

Kelvin Davis says in his previous career as principal of Kaitaia Intermediate he saw how hungry kids can’t learn, and the problem of children coming to school without breakfast is getting worse because of the Government’s policies.

“Kids going to school without breakfast is just a symptom of wider problems within New Zealand society and I think the government needs to not just put out fifes here there and everywhere but they need to work on the wider problem and they don’t seem to have a plan,” Mr Davis says.

Meanwhile, the Maori Party has shortlist of three wanting to become its candidate in the June 25 by-election forced by the resignation of Hone Harawira.

It will decide by Wednesday between lawyer Mere Mangu, Ngati Hine chairperson Waihoroi Shortland and Solomon Tipene, the chair of its Whangarei branch.


Roopu have until the end of this week to get entries in for the Auckland Matariki Festival Kapa Haka Super 12s.

Festival director Lisa Davis says the stripped down format gives performers a lot of room for innovation.

The 12-member teams will be judged on originality, execution and entertainment factor as they pack waiata-a-ringa, haka and poi into a 12 minutes performance.

The Two Degrees Kapa Haka Super 12s will be at the Auckland Town Hall Concert Chamber on June 18.