Waatea News Update

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Friday, June 03, 2011

Maori Party cries foul over sisterly support

Maori Party vice-president Ken Mair is crying foul over the Mana Party's tactics in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

He says a campaign stop in Kaitaia this week was disrupted by a group led by Hinewhare Harawira, the sister of Mana's Hone Harawira, who swore at and abused Maori Party candidate Solomon Tipene.

"If we really truly believe in our kauapa, if we really believe in the concept, the integrity of the word mana, then we need to stand up and make it loud and clear to people that go against our kaupapa, abuse our kaupapa, you mustn’t and we won’t allow you to get away with it,” Mr Mair says.

He says the incident echoed last month's Maori Party hui at Waitangi, where Hinewhare Harawira and her mother Titewhai abused participants and party leaders.


And Labour candidate Kelvin Davis warns the Harawira tactics could backfire on the Mana Party.

Mr Davis says what Maori in the electorate want to know is what the political parties are doing to ensure there are jobs for themselves and their young people, and how cuts in government services will affect them.

He says candidates should stick to the issues.

“It's pretty disappointing to see Hone’s sister going off against Solomon Tipene as he was campaigning. I think despite the fact we’re in other parties, everybody’s got to treat people with respect and I don’t think it goes down well in Maori electorate when we have the politics of abuse going on, so that’s disappointing to see,” Mr Davis says.

Hone Harawira denies the incident happened.


The first sightings have been made of Matariki, also known at Pleiades, the constellation that marks the Maori new year.

Chef and artist Rewi Spraggon says while it has become an excuse to celebrate Maori arts and culture, Matariki was also the time when Maori of old would remember those who had died through the year and also look forward.

He says his first sighting before sunrise yesterday from the top of the Waitakere ranges in west Auckland was of a bright cluster to the northeast at the tail of the milky way, indicating a prosperous year ahead.

One of the ways he's marking Matariki is to run a food forum at Auckland War Memorial Museum next Tuesday and Wednesday, showing people traditional Maori ways of preparing and preserving kai.


Mana leader Hone Harawira is denying his sister swore at Maori Party candidate Solomon Tipene during a campaign stop in Kaitaia.

Maori Party vice-president Ken Mair says the incident made a mockery of Mr Harawira's use of the name Mana.

But Mr Harawira says he has video evidence showing the incident never happened ... and if Mr Mair has a genuine complaint he should take it to the police.

“But seriously Ken Mair, stick to Whanganui, and don’t come in to Tai Tokerau and bullshit your way around. We don’t appreciate that. We’ve got work to be doing. I’d like to get on in a positive way with the Maori Party candidate, whatever his name is, but we don’t need people coming from Whanganui and trying to tell us how we can act in the Tai Tokerau,” Mr Harawira says.

He says Ken Mair can't even speak Maori, let alone understand the meaning of words like mana.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei is calling for a moratorium on granting more oil exploration or mining consents until new protections are in place.

The Government has promised a new regulatory regime to be administered by the new Environment Protection Agency.

Ms Turei says Maori have been at the forefront of protests against oil exploration, and they're concerned that even Environment Minister Nick Smith admits current guidelines are unenforceable.

“Having a moratorium for any new permits or any kind of exploration for mining in the marine environment would be very good idea. The delay in implementing the EPA in the new environmental legislation is too long,” Ms Turei says.

She says there is a clear pro-development bias evident in Dr Smith's appointments to the 8-member Environment Protection Agency board.


Christchurch woman Angela Skerrett-Tainui wants to see the life of her great aunt turned into a film.

Evaline Jane Skerrett from Ngai Tahu and Ngati Mamoe became internationally famous in the early decades of the 20th century as an opera singer called Princess Iwa.

Ms Skerrett-Tainui has produced a tribute CD featuring many of the songs in the contralto's repertoire, with narration provided by Tim Shadbolt and Sam Neill, who wanted to celebrate a southern success story.

“I just think this would make a stunning move. It’s got all the ingredients – the adventure, it’s got singing, travel, performance, she was friends with Charlie Chaplin and really ultimately she did so much to promote her Maori culture which she was so proud of,” she says.

She has set up a Princess Iwa Facebook page to find out more information about her tupuna.

Broadband group sets priorities

A member of the new national Maori broadband group Nga Pu Waea says an initial meeting with Telecom and Vodafone has given members a glimpse of the scale of the challenge.

Antony Royal says the group appointed by Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples wants to make sure as many Maori as possible are connected to the urban ultra fast broadband or the rural broadband, at an affordable price.

“The third area we want to talk about is jobs and training and skills development, and the fourth area is starting to talk about once we get the infrastructure, what are we going to be doing. What are the opportunities that then allow us to use that infrastructure for health or education or any other type of activities,” Mr Royal says.

Nga Pu Waea will meet regularly with the companies rolling out broadband to ensure Maori concerned are heard.


The Council of Christian Social Services is making Maori a priority in its new Closer Together Whakatata Mai campaign against income inequality.

Executive officer Trevor McGlinchey says inequality is changing the country for the worse, but it's not inevitable.

He says Maori are often the first to feel the effects of wage distortions and closing down of opportunity.

“We're very concerned with the impacts of inequality on Maori and so we had Bishop Muru Walters start our Whatatata Mai project with karakia and we’ve had ongoing engagement with our Christian Maori communities to support this project and help roll it out into their communities,” Mr McGlinchey says.

Whakatata Mai will encoruage people to write or send postcards to MPs and political candidates challenging them to take action on inequality.


The convener of judges for the New Zealand Post Book Awards says e-books could be the future of Maori language publishing.

Paul Diamond says he was concerned there were no books published in Maori for adults in either 2009 or 2010.

He's like to see material commissioned by the Education Ministry, such as a translation of the Patricia Grace novel Potiki, made available to a wider audience.

“One argument would be ‘it’s so difficult to get things written.’ If we could say here’s a body of work we can make available for people to read, with all these e-book readers and pads and digital publishing, perhaps there is potential for people to read these things on the bus or trains. We want reading in Maori to become part of our lives,” Mr Diamond says.

He's impressed with how many of the book award finalists incorporate Maori subjects and material in a confident way.


Rethinking Crime and Punishment director Kim Workman is welcoming a report from the Government's science advisor questioning the effectiveness of wilderness training and boot camps for young offenders.

Mr Workman says many young Maori get pushed into such camps, rather than being offered more culturally responsive programmes.

He says Sir Peter Gluckman's report should allow policy makers to look at the science rather than make decisions based on gut feeling and anecdote.

“People go to the graduation ceremonies and they’re blown away by these kids who really look smart, they’re all shiny and all dressed up and eager to make a difference in their lives and then they’re released back into their communities who are totally dysfunctional and the belief you can change someone’s behaviour in three months when that behaviour has been formed over 16 years is a nonsense,” Mr Workman says.


Maori have been given a chance to farewell a former Burmese judge who dedicated much of his life to helping gang members reintegrate into society.

Bill Maung died this week in his late 90s.

Gang liaison worker Denis O'Reilly says Mr Maung held that the world's problems could be solved by education ... but quit the teaching job he got when he migrated to New Zealand because he said he wanted to be an educator.

“He was instrumental in the Black Power’s move against rape. Along with Ray Harris, he started up the Whanganui a Tara Maori Committee utilising systems and structures that were available. He mixed it with people like Muldoon and co. So at one end he was a high level thinker and operator and at the other end he would work with people right on the ground,” Mr O'Reilly says.

Bill Maung will be taken on to Pipitea Marae tomorrow morming before returning to his home in Stokes Valley for a private service.


It's Queen's Birthday Weekend, so the annual Wairoa Maori Film Festival is in full swing.

Organiser Leo Koziol says three quarters of the films being shown on marae in Wairoa and Nuhaka are made by Maori, and more than 40 filmmakers have come together to share ideas and pass on tips to aspiring writers and directors.

He says he's thrilled the festival is encouraging people from the region to try their hand, such as Kararaina Rangihau whose short film on Tuhoe composer Mihi-ki-te-kapua is a festival highlight.

“We really want to build on that example and make more local stories on screen here in Nuhaka and here in Wairoa,” Mr Koziol says.

Tomorrow night's awards ceremony will include a new Mana Wahine award to acknowledge the contributions of Maori women in film and television.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Funding cuts halt anti-smoking progress

The anti-smoking group Te Reo Marama is questioning government cuts in funding for programmes which are helping Maori quit the habit.

Director Shane Bradbrook says smoking among Maori girls dropped from 36 percent in 1999 to 23 percent now.

But a new survey by ASH has found progress has stalled, and one in five 15-year-old Maori girls smoke every day.

He says it's not time to take the foot off the accelerator ... but that's what a $12 million cut in government funding has meant.

“We’ve had a Maori affairs select committee inquiry into the tobacco industry, and quite clearly the recommendation said we need to do a lot more in terms of supporting the ability for Maori to quit and yet we’ve seem Maori funding being lost consistently through the Ministry of Health, so their policy needs to be called into question,” Mr Bradbrook says.


The Maori Party has made the digital divide a feature of its Te Tai Tokerau by-election campaign.

Launching the extension of the Computers In Homes programme to Te Kura Kaupapa o Taumarere in Moerewa, Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Tariana Turia said another $3.3 million over three years is going for community-based initiatives to increase digital literacy among lower income whanau.

Di Das from Computers In Homes says the additional funding on top of the $8 million in last year's Budget means more families can get connected.

“We work through low decile schools and the schools choose the families on the basis of greatest need. Certainly in the rural areas around East Coast, Far North, King Country, places like that, there is a very high proportion of Maori families. We work with kura and Maori immersion schools quite a lot,” Ms Das says once parents learn to overcome their fear of technology, they are able to support their children with schoolwork.


The convenor of judges for this year’s New Zealand Post Book Awards says he's pleased at the easy integration of Maori content throughout the list of finalists.

Paul Diamond says as well as overtly Maori material like Damian Skinner's study of kowhaiwhai artist John Hovell and the book on Pounamu co-written by Ngai Tahu elder Maika Mason, books like Chris Bourke's history of New Zealand popular music, Blue Smoke, tapped into Maori stories.

“Chris went to a lot of trouble to do oral history interviews with Maori, because Maori are a big part of that story. Ian Mune’s autobiography has got stuff about working with Billy T James. The No Fretful Sleeper, a biography of Bill Pearson by Paul Miller has got the amazing story about how with academic English lecturer helped finance Peter Sharples’ education at Auckland University,” Mr Diamond says.

Online and postal voting for the People’s Choice Awards has opened, with the winners to be announced on July 27.


Rethinking Crime and Punishment says rival lobby the Sensible Sentencing Trust is offering failed monocultural solutions.

Director Kim Workman says the trust's three strikes policy is packed with bad and unworkable ideas, like naming and shaming young offenders.

He says Maori and Pacific communities have ways of using shame to show offenders how their actions harm the mana of the family, and then reintegrate them into the community.

“It's not about putting people out there and humiliating them. It’s about saying to them we care about you, you’re part of who we are but by your action you are letting us down and you are letting us down in the eyes of the community. That sort of thing doesn’t occur to Sensible Sentencing because it is totally monocultural in its approach,” Mr Workman says.

He says there is also no evidence that the boot camps championed by the Sensible Sentencing trust are effective for any offenders, let alone Maori.


The group leading protests against oil prospecting off East Cape is welcoming proposed new environment protection laws.

Ani Pahuru - Huriwai from Ahi Ka Action says Environment Minister Nick Smith's plan to give the new Environmental Protection Agency monitoring and enforcement powers out to the edge of the 200-mile exclusive economic zone is positive.

She says the test will be how strong the law is and how committed the government is to make it work, once the election is over.

She says no further exploration licenses should be issued until the new protection regime is in place.


Ceramic artist Bay Riddell from Ngati Porou has been awarded a $65,000 Creative New Zealand Craft Fellowship to research new firing techniques.

Mr Riddell, who was one of the founders of Maori clay artists' group Nga Kaihanga Uku, says as an educator he was concerned that many young artists don't have the money for expensive kilns.

He says many low-fire processes are only suitable for smaller work, and he wants to scale up.

“They are often defined as quite primitive findings, indigenous-type firings, but they actually take a lot of skill to master, more so than pressing buttons on a high tech kiln, and I want to explore, in the raku process, firing of larger pieces,” Mr Riddell says.

He sees the award as a win for all Maori ceramic artists.

Jobs starting for Christchurch rebuild

A Maori woman living in the hard-hit Christchurch suburb of Aranaui says residents are welcoming the jobs that are starting to come through.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee says while the number of Cantabrians on the unemployment benefit swelled by 750 after February's earthquake, last week 255 came off the dole queue.

Te Rina Anderson says most of her friends and whanau now have work, much of it to with rebuilding the city.

“There's building, concrete laying. There’s a lot of spots opened up fro painters and anything to do with house renovations,” she says.

She's still looking for a job that offers more than the minimum wage.


The union which looks after Early Childhood Teachers is welcoming the recommendations of a taskforce which have got to Education Minister Anne Tolley.

However, NZEI spokesperson Hayley Whittaker says the minister is unlikely to appreciate the call for all staff in early childhood centres to qualified.

She says that was a policy of the previous Labour Government which was axed by National, with the justification that some resources would be redirected to increase participation by Maori and Pasifika children.

She says centres are now passing on the budget cut to whanau.


A South Auckland music group wants to encourage to rangatahi around the country to follow their passion for music.

The Hypnotics is visiting schools and alternative education institutions to engage with students who are thinking about a future career in the arts.

Tour manager Noma Sio says the self-funded kaupapa is getting a lot of support from iwi stations and organisations around the country.
The Hypnotics tour starts next week in Palmerston North.


A ministerial taskforce on Early Childhood Education has sounded a warning about the state of kohanga reo.

Taskforce chair Michael Mintrom, an associate professor of political studies at Auckland University, says the government needs to spend more on Maori because Maori children are missing out.

But he says there appears to be something wrong with the way many Maori immersion pre-schools are operating.

“The education review office does supplementary reviews on services that are not perceived to be performing at appropriate levels of quality and looking at the statistics over time, kohanga reo show up much higher as a percentage of groups getting supplementary reviews than any other ETS service out there,” Dr Mintrom says.

He says Maori communities should be encouraged to come up with their own ways of providing early childhood education ... which could include alternatives to kohanga.


The chair of Te Hiku Forum, Haami Piripi, says the other four iwi in the far north don't appreciate Ngati Kahu trying to muscle in on Te Oneroa a Tohe, Ninety Mile Beach.

The government has rejected a proposed settlement submitted by Te Runanga o Ngati Kahu negotiator Margaret Mutu which included parts of the beach and the Aupouri forest, but it is continuing to work towards a settlement with the other iwi.

Mr Piripi says Ngati Kahu was traditionally understood to occupy the eastern side of the region.

“There are so many layers of occupation anyone can claim anywhere really. It comes down to individual choices of which iwi you give prominence in your identity. So there is no doubt people of Ngati Kahu descent have ancestry and a relationship with Te Oneroa a Tohe but from the perspective of my iwi in Te Rarawa, we wouldn’t see that translating into a mana whenua interest,” he says.

Mr Piripi says Ngati Kahu has so far not shared its revised claim with Te Hiku Forum, which it quit earlier this year.


The winner of the best first book award for non-fiction in the NZ Book Awards says the honour belongs to all those represented in the work.

Poia Rewi says when he first started collecting recordings of speakers on marae, he was not thinking of writing a book.

He says he's humbled by the acclaim for Whaikorero: the World of Maori Oratory

Dr Rewi says that a book on Maori oratory can win such an award shows traditional Maori culture is appreciated by more than just Maori.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Mana Party misses election funding

Leader Hone Harawira says the Mana Party will be formally appealing the electoral commission's decision not to allocate them any money or time for political broadcasts for the November general election because the party wasn't formed in time.

Mr Harawira says however he doesn't expect the appeal to be successful.

“If we can’t get that money from an appeal, we’ll just have to rely on the support we have always had from people for a party that stands for the rights of those who have nothing anyway,” Mr Harawira says.


The Maori Party is looking at what it can do about what it sees as a scandalous cut in the time and money it has been allocated for its political broadcasts in this year's general election.

President Pem Bird says he's shocked that the Electoral Commission has slashed the amount the party got in 2008 by $90,000 from $248,889 to $160,00 and from 11 to 9 minutes.

“This is the tangata whenua voice, that’s our core constituency, and if you look in the Treaty of Waitangi framework I think we’ve for a fair enough case,” he says.

Mr Bird says it is scandalous to compare the Maori Party which targets seven diverse and spread out electorates with ACT and will be looking at all avenues of redress.


The head of the taskforce on Early Childhood Education which today reported to Education Minister Anne Tolley says its recommendations are good news for Maori.

Taskforce chairman Michael Mintrom says they told the minister that investment in early childhood education is of great value and funding must be directed at Maori communities which are missing out.

He says the communities themselves should then be given the ability to decide how they spend the money.

“Now we are not suggesting that this means doing more of what currently is being done in other parts of the sector. It actually means getting in there and working closely with Maori communities and asking them, what are their needs,” Dr Mintrom says

He says kohanga reo isn't working effectively and it needs far great scrutiny with alternatives for Maori be quite appropriate.


Ngati Paoa has come together to farewell the woman who put the iwi back on the map.

The funeral from Hariata Gordon was held today at Waiti Marae north of Morrinsville.

George Kahi, the chair of the Ngati Paoa Trust Board, says Mrs Gordon's occupation of a Maori Affairs-run farm on Waiheke in 1984 won the iwi back not only land but recognition.

He says she encouraged the people to learn about their identity and history in the greater Auckland, and to stand up for the tribe's interests to local and central government.

“And if we wanted to maintain that particular stance and that quality, we just needed to do what she did which was maintain the blueprint of Ngati Paoa. If you tended to wander either side of it you end up talking about yourself and not the tribe so her message, she was replicating previous conversations of other ancestors and she kept it straight and narrow,” Mr Kahi says.


Child welfare advocacy group Te Kahui Mana Ririki hopes its revival of traditional Maori ways of parenting will bring down rates of child abuse.

Director Anton Blank says the trust and Plunket are about to launch a pilot programme in Hamilton, based on research that will be published by the Children's Commission tomorrow.

He says whanau will be shown how to appreciate and react to their children in a non-violent way.

“What we've found was that parenting was quite indulgent and kind and that hitting and insulting children was banned so we’ve taken that knowledge and we’ve adapted it to contemporary settings so we’re connecting whanau back to traditional values but we are making it very relevant for today,” Mr Blank says.

Simple techniques include ignoring behaviour that isn't hurting anyone and distracting children when they're upset to encourage positive behaviour.


The company that used Maori imagery to sell infant formula into China has apologised for what it calls cultural misunderstanding.

Associate health Minister Tariana Turia called for an investigation into the Kia New Zealand International's Heitiki brand, because she said it could be seen as encouraging Maori women to substitute breast milk with infant formula.

Kia advisor John McCaulay says the company will repackage the Heitiki formula, which was all bound for export, so there is no reference to Maori concepts.

“They were looking to take the positive aspects of Maori culture and use it on their product, it really is just a cultural misunderstanding and the issue is they were trying to highlight the positive aspects of Maori,” he says.

Mr McCaulay says the product meets all New Zealand export regulations and is manufactured by a subsidiary of New Zealand listed company New Image.

Race commissioner steps up council push

Race Relations commisioner Joris de Bres says if local authorities continue to reject his call to establish Maori seats, he will recommend it be done as part of the constitutional reform process.

Mr de Bres says Bay of Plenty Regional Council has demonstrated how Maori wards are an effective way of getting Maori involved in the decisions that affect them.

He's concerned at the offhand way councils like Rotorua and New Plymouth have treated the issue.

“If councils overall reject the option that is available to them, then I think we’ll fed that into the constitutional debate because it may be at that point that we say look, the real flaw in this provision is that Maori as a minority are totally dependent on the goodwill of the majority and shouldn’t councils be obliged to introduce this into their electoral system if Maori want it,” Mr de Bres says.

He hopes other councils which are still debating the issue will respond positively.


Former Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira says cuts recommended by the government's welfare working group will be disastrous for Maori in the north.

Mr Harawira, who is trying to win back the seat for his new Mana Party, says the Maori Party will struggle to defend the welfare reforms its coalition partner is planning.

He says people in the north are starving now, and further cuts will make it worse.

“There’s 50 percent of children in the north living below the poverty line and probably about 70 percent of Maori children below the poverty line so when the Maori Party says it is going to support benefit cuts in 2011, I’m glad to be free of those guys, I’m glad to be in a position where I can fight against it and do my best to make changes,” Mr Harawira says.


New Zealand Post expects strong demand from collectors around the world for this year's Matariki stamps.

The six stamps on the theme of hei matau or fish hooks were developed in collaboration with Maori designers and artists.

Marketing manager Simon Allison says previous issues marking the Maori new year have been popular overseas, as seen from web orders and the response at stamp expos round the world.

The matariki series is available from today.


The Council of Trade Unions says it's time for the solicitor general to withdraw charges laid after the so called terror raids in Te Urewera in 2007.

The trial of the 15 defendants was due to start this week, but it has been delayed until early next year because of Supreme Court appeals about some of the evidence.

Maori vice president Syd Keepa says after more than four years, it was unfair to persist.

“These people have been out on the margins waiting for what is going to happen to them. Some of those people can’t get jobs, some of them have to give up their jobs because they don’t know what the hell is going to happen to them and now they have come up with the situation it is going to be another year before those charges can be heard,” he says.

Mr Keepa says the stress of the case continues to affect the Maori community at Ruatoki, which was locked down by armed police during the raids.


Labour's Te Tai Tokerau by-election candidate, Kelvin Davis, says the government's plan for welfare reform shows it has no plan to create jobs and economic growth.

Prime Minister John Key has asked his ministers to turn the Welfare Working Group's February report into policies that will cut the number of beneficiaries.

Mr Davis says National's punitive approach to welfare is doomed to fail.

“This is classic behaviour from a National Government is to blame and bash the people who are their most desperate and I can’t see anything the government is doing or proposing that is going to help people on low and middle incomes,” he says.

Mr Davis says Government ministers have no understanding of the conditions faced by beneficiaries in Te Tai Tokerau, where Maori unemployment is near record levels.


Ngati Paoa today lays to rest Hariata Gordon, who reestablished the iwi as a force to be reckoned with in Auckland and Hauraki affairs.

Mrs Gordon led a 1984 protest and subsequent Waitangi Tribunal claim over the leasing of a Maori affairs farm on Waihere Island, which led to a finding that the Crown had breached the treaty by leaving the tribe landless.

Pita Turei from the Ngati Paoa Whanau Trust says she will be missed by many in the tribe.

“She was a kuia. She was a wahine toa. She was a taniwha. She made a lot of people angry along the way but she achieved something in her time. When we think about Bastion Point, we think of the forgotten occupation over there on Waiheke where through the actions of Hariata and others, Ngati Paoa was able to elevate itself from being a landless people on Waiheke,” Mr Turei says.

The funeral for Hariata Gordon is at 11 this morning at Waiti Marae in Tahuna.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Welfare cuts a threat to whanau life

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the Government's plans for welfare are an attack on Maori and family life.

The Primer Minister John Key has announced a ministerial group to develop policy around the recommendations of the Welfare Working Group ... except the one requiring mothers on the domestic purposes benefit to seek work 14 weeks after the birth of their second child.

Ms Turei says the Welfare Working Group report is not a credible basis for reform

“The report is anti-Maori, it’s anti working people, because many middle class working people are finding themselves in need of a benefit and are going to be treated very badly by this government with these reforms. I think the report is very and-child and at a time of the highest levels of child poverty when many families are in need, it is not a time to attack those families,” she says.

Ms Turei says the proposed measures will create more poverty traps for beneficiaries.


To mark World Smokefree Day, Quitline has launched online tools to help people give up tobacco.

Chief executive Paula Snowden says Quit Coach helps people to understand their addiction in order to conquer it.

She says one in four of Quitline's clients are Maori.

“It's one of those non-negative statistics. There are too many Maori smoking but the success rate for Maori is the same as non-Maori, so when we decide to quit as a people, the success rate is the same.
Ms Snowden says.

The main reasons former smokers relapse is stress and alcohol.


A Te Arawa artist hopes to paint the country with colour as part of the welcome promotion for the Rugby World Cup.

Rangi Williams is one of five finalists for the ANZ Welcome the World promotion, with the winner chosen by public vote.

The graphic design teacher says his Paint the Town plan is to get communities to create murals and banners.

The paintings will be made into large banners to be taken around the country, and all brought together for the final at Eden Park.


Whakatohea elder Ranganui Walker has welcomed news the Opotiki-based tribe's claims could be back on the table.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson yesterday said that to say a claimant was at the bottom of the queue, as his predecessor Sir Douglas Graham did when Whakatohea rejected a 1996 settlement offer, was petty and punitive.

Dr Walker says the $40 million settlement offer was unacceptable, which is why he led the move to vote it down.

“A chief negotiator assumed powers over and above the job the raupatu committee was mandated to do and he did it all unilaterally and got it wrong and when the raupatu committee demonstrated some measure of standing up on their hind legs and fighting back, Doug Graham shut it down,” he says.

Dr Walker says the failed settlement created deep divisions among Whakatohea for many years, but it is now ready to resume negotiations.


The Maori Party's Te Tai Tokerau candidate is backing a rahui aimed at preventing Crest Energy building a tidal power station in the Kaipara Harbour.

Solomon Tipene has joined rivals Kelvin Davis and Hone Harawira in supporting Te Uri o Hau's stand.

He says Environment Minister Kate Wilkinson was wrong to approve 200 turbines going into the harbour.

“It's a technology that’s never been tested before in the world and I give credit to my whanaunga at Te Uri o Hau for standing their ground,” Mr Tipene says.

Crest Energy director Anthony Hopkins says the rahui will not stop the company developing what is well-understood technology, and it is now conducting baseline environmental monitoring in preparation for installing the first turbines.


Asthma Foundation medical director Bob Hancox says young Maori are still missing out on the smoke-free message.

It's World Smokefree Day, and Dr Hancox says smoking is the primary cause of asthma symptoms in tamariki ... and chronic lung disease in older adults.

He says with 45 percent of Maori smoking, the message needs to get through to the younger generation that they are not invincible.

Maori Party put on spot over Kaipara power

Kaipara Maori say the Maori Party needs to tell its National coalition partner in government to drop its support for a tidal power station at the harbour's entrance.

Te Uri o Hau says it will declare an akutai or no go zone over the snapper fishing beds where Crest Energy intends to site its experimental turbines.

Spokesperson Mikaera Miru says the Maori Party said it would take its lead on oil exploration off East Cape from iwi, and it should do the same for Kaipara.

“If there's any equity in what they’re doing, then I would expect if they could do this for Ngati Porou, they should be saying exactly the same thing for Ngati Whatua from the Kaipara,” he says.

Mr Miru says the iwi is pleased Labour's Kelvin Davis and Hone Harawira from Mana have backed the protest.


Meanwhile, the first hoardings go up today for the Maori Party's Te tai Tokerau by-election candidate.

Solomon Tipene says he's starting behind the Mana Party's Hone Harawira and Labour's Kelvin Davis, but the party's machinery is coming back together, and there will be signs of his existence from Auckland to Kaitaia.

The four Maori Party MPs are joining him for a three day election roadshow, starting with a hui with Ngai Hine at Motatau Marae this afternoon.

“It's my home people. They want to throw in their support and launch my political career at home. They also have some other issues they want to raise with the minister in terms of taking care of Ngati Hine issues, taking care of me,” Mr Tipene says.

One person he hopes to see at this afternoon's hui is Ngati Hine chairperson Waihoroi Shortland, who he beat for the nomination.


It's never too late to start an entertainment career.

That's the message from the organiser of the country's first Kaumatua Idol awards.

Gina Cribb says the Feilding event was open to Maori Gold card holders ... and the fact that a few of the 14 contestants forgot the odd line didn't deter them.

The 250 people who attended pleaded with her to make it an annual event.


Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson says he's keen to reopen treaty settlements with Whakatohea.

His predecessor, Sir Douglas Graham, told the Opotiki-based iwi it was at the back of the queue after it rejected a 1996 settlement offer worth $40 million.

Mr Finlayson says he sees Whakatohea as unfinished business.

“I'm very conscious that they just about had a settlement in 1996 but for various internal reasons as I understand it didn’t take place. I remain very keen to talk to them. They are the one iwi I have never really sat down with in Opotiki, although I have driven past their trust board premises enough,” he says.

On the weekend Mr Finlayson told far north iwi Ngati Kahu that he was rejecting its proposal for a partial claim settlement ... but he said it would be petty and punitive to put any iwi at the back of the queue just because a negotiation had failed to reach the desired outcome.


Greens co-leader Meteria Turei says Maori are well-represented on the party's list.

The line-up released at the weekend includes herself in the top spot, MP David Clendon at 8, and Waiheke local board member Denise Roche at 11 ... who gets into Parliament if the Greens can capture 9 percent of the party vote.

“Maori can look at the Green Party list and feel confident that we both represent Maori issues in Parliament and respect the experience of Maori in the political realm,” Ms Turei says.

Further down the list is Dora Langsbury at 22, Mikaere Curtis at 26, and 18-year-old Te Tai Hauauru candidate Jack Mc Donald at number 30.


The winner of the country's top architectural award says his clients at Waitomo Caves immediately recognised how their new $13 million visitor centre was based on a hinaki or eel trap.

Chris Kelly from Wellington's Architectural Workshop says he used laminated pine and clear plastic to create a cover for the walkway to the caves.

He says his concern was to mirror the course of the stream, which is home to eels, and to create a light structure in contrast to the dark caves below.

“Department of Conservation was suggesting it should have more Maori motifs and we said ‘let’s see,’ and the hapu said ‘No, we’re pretty happy with how it is, we can see it is a hinaki just in the way you have crossed the timber,’” Mr Kelly says.

The centre is designed to cope with a steadily increasing number of visitors, and replaces one that burned down in 2005.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Ngati Kahu settlement deed rejected

The Minister of Treaty Negotiations says there is no way he will sign a settlement with Ngati Kahu that is not full and final.

Chris Finlayson travelled to the far north on Saturday to tell the iwi the deed written by negotiator Margaret Mutu was unrealistic.

“I was quite hppy for them to have a go. Why should the Crown dictate the terms of drafting in every respect. But when I got to the end of the 770 pages it was the claim that this was now going to be a partial rather than a full and final settlement that cause me to go up to a little marae by Taipa on Saturday just to have a little chat with the team,” Mr Finlayson says.

He will continue to work on a settlement with Ngati Kahu, and he is also well down the track on finalising settlements with the four other Muriwhenua Iwi in the Te Hiku Forum.


The director of Te Kahui Mana Ririki Trust Anton Blank, is denying research on traditional Maori parenting practices is a romanticised view of history.

AUT history lecturer Paul Moon has questioned the researchers' reliance on oral histories and lullabies, and he rejects the idea violence against children came with the missionaries.

Mr Blank says the trust does not deny there was some ill-treatment and infanticide, but its brief from the Children's Commission was to identify the prevailing model of Maori parenting before European settlement.

“We found more accounts of positive, indulgent parenting by Maori whanau and in fact the early missionaries commented our children were confident and far more advanced than the children of Europe,” Mr Blank says.

The trust is using the Traditional Maori Parenting report to develop new parenting programmes.


Kaipara iwi are putting their hopes on an aukati or no-go zone to stop Chest Energy building a power station at the entrance of the harbour.

A hui at Waiaretu marae on the Pouto peninsula yesterday decided on the rahui or ban.

Mikaera Miru from Te Uri o Hau land trust spokesperson says the tapu only applies to crest Energy or its contractors.

“The aukati is only for a particular group and that’s what makes this type of rahui unique. It’s only for Crest Energy. It’s not going to prevent people from coming out there and fishing in the graveyard area because that’s the last fishing ground in the Kaipara where you can catch big fish,” he says.

Mr Miru says flotilla will be formed to chase away any Crest Energy boats.


A former chair of te Uri o Hau Settlement Trust believes the Kaipara iwi is going down the wrong course by pushing for a rahui or traditional ban to prevent the building of a tidal power station in harbour.

A hui at Pouto yesterday decided to impose an aukati or no-go zone which would only apply to Crest Energy and its contractors.

Russell Kemp, who fished the harbour commercially for 20 years, says a claim under the Marine and Coastal Area Act for the turbine area would give the iwi a stronger base to object from.

“Right out there where they are going to put those turbines, it’s the greatest place for snapper fishing that I know of consistently because the majority of that floor is mussel beds. If they trial all right with one or two, they are going to take up the rest of that area and then no one else will be able to go there so what they are asking for is a property right for the term of their licence and I’m not happy with that because the customary rights have not been determined,” Mr Kemp says.

Te Uri o Hau is developing wind farms with Meridian Energy on land it owns or bought back with its treaty settlement.


Treaty negotiations minister Chris Finlayson says the door is still open for a settlement with far north iwi Ngati Kahu, despite his rejection of a proposed deed submitted by the tribe's negotiator.

Mr Finlayson says the 770-page document was unacceptable because it insisted on a partial settlement, with Ngati Kahu able to come back for further redress in the future.

He says that won't be the end of the matter.

“This is a point I made on Saturday. I regard it petty and punitive to say to any iwi as a treaty partner ‘oh well, you’re going to the bottom of the queue,’ because I don’t think that the way treaty partners should talk to each other and I’m going to continue to work with Ngati Kahu and we parted on very good terms,” Mr Finlayson says.

He's pushing ahead with negotiations with the other four Muriwhenua iwi, which will include protection for Ngati Kahu interests in any joint assets,


An expert in New Zealand childhood says AUT historian Paul Moon is wrong in his contention that pre-European Maori were child beaters.

Professor Moon is disputing a suggestion in a report done for the Children's Commission that corporal punishment came with European missionaries.

Waikato University emeritus professor Jane Ritchie, whose book on Children Rearing Patterns has had a major influence on social psychology in New Zealand since the 1960s, says the researchers were right to highlight the observations of early explorers that they did not see Maori hitting their kids, as it was clearly picked up from missionaries.

Professor Ritchie says the Te Kahui Mana Ririki report on traditional Maoiri Parenting will be welcomed by people who are looking for ways to tackle the abuse affecting Maori children today.

Concern at iwi fishing charters

Maori affairs minister Pita Sharples says he has asked his staff to look into the use of foreign vessels to catch Maori quota.

Dr Sharples says he wants to know why iwi aren’t catching their own allocation, when there are 60,000 young New Zealanders out of work.

“There’s a number of reasons that the fishermen have told me, not the least of which is many Maori find it hard to be our for long periods of time away from their whanau and stuff like this, so I suppose you’ve got to want to be a fisherman to go out and do it,” he says.

Dr Sharples says he is also concerned at allegations foreign crews on the boats are being ill-treated.


The negotiator for a central Waikato hapu is accusing the Government of breaching good faith negotiations.

Ngati Koroki Kahukura had been lined up to signed a settlement today that would have returned more than 2000 hectares of Crown land at Maungatautari as well as cash to help maintain it as a pest-free ecological island.

But Cabinet put the deal on hold last week in response to a campaign by a small group of neighbouring landowners upset by the governance arrangements for the reserve.

Willie Te Aho says it’s almost a rerun of the Government’s veto of the return of Urewera National Park land to Ngai Tuhoe.

“We feel like we have been Tuhoed where we had the land on the table and it’s been removed. No respect to our Tuhoe relations but it’s becoming the saying that when you get things through officials and the minister and you think you’ve got your land back and then at the last minute Cabinet pulls it off the table, so we’re certainly upset,” Mr Te Aho says.

He hopes the appointment of retired High Court Judge Sir David Thompkins QC as a facilitator will help move the settlement process forward.


The Green Party is sitting out the Te Tai Tokerau by-election, but co-leader Meteria Turei says the Maori seats are an important part of the Greens’ November election strategy.

Ms Turei says the party is looking for Maori to carry the Green message, like 18 year old Jack McDonald in Te Tai Hauauru.

She says it’s all about rounding up the party vote.

“Maori voters in Maori electorates have a real genuine choice about how they exercise both their votes in a way that gets them the best representation. They vote for the person who represents them most. They vote for the party that will represent Maori issues in parliament,” Mr Turei says.

The Greens will remind voters of what she believes is an excellent record on Maori issues.


The Minister in charge of whanau ora, Tariana Turia, says Maori health workers aren’t being paid what they are worth.

The Maori Party co-leader says without adequate funding, Maori providers will struggle to retain staff.

“There’s a huge disparity of something like $20,000 between the pay scales so Maori providers who invest a lot of money training their nurses, they can’t afford to pay them at the same rate as the DHB because the DHB are the funder as well as the provider themselves, so then it means the DHB can offer those staff better money and they leave,” Mrs Turia says.

It’s a long-standing problem, so she’s not impressed with Labour’s sudden enthusiasm for putting up the minimum wage.


The dumping of Ngati Kahungunu leader Ngahiwi Tomoana as chair of Te Ohu Kaimoana is continuing to cause concern.

Prominent iwi negotiator Willie Te Aho says it appears members of the electoral college, He Kawai Taumata, were influenced by a leaked letter from Aotearoa Fisheries to the Maori fisheries settlement trust about Mr Tomoana’s chairmanship.

He says He Kawai Taumata members should explain why his relative was not given a chance to respond.

“You either follow tikanga and kanohi ki te kanoki and work things through or attempt to work things through. The alternative is live by the sword, die by the sword, and he’s the one who’s had his knees cut off underneath him but tomorrow it will be those who held the sword who will be put to the sword,” Mr Te Aho says.


Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says he's struggling with the transition from activist to statesman.

He says now he's leader of a political party, the pressure is coming on for a change of style.

But he says he's used to instinctively acting on the principles he knows to be right.

“I just hope for myself and our people too that I never really lose that edge because I think that edge is important to a portrayal of the kind of strength and commitment and fearlessness I think our people deserve in their political leadership and they just don’t have the moment,” Mr Harawira says.