April - June

More Maori appointed to conservation boards
More Maori have been appointed to conservation boards in an effort to better represent iwi and hapū.

The role of the boards is to advise the Department of Conservation on local issues and act as a point of contact for the community.

In 2013, a Government report found they were not diverse enough.

The report found "boards should actively enhance their relationships with iwi and manawhenua through joint meetings and identification of projects of common interest".

The associate conservation minister, Nicky Wagner, said 42 percent of the boards' 135 members would now be Māori, up from 36 percent last year.....

Govt urged to take action on climate change
The New Zealand Climate and Health Council is urging the Government to take urgent action against climate change to improve the health of Māori.

Council co-convenor Rhys Jones said Māori suffered the most in Aotearoa from its effects.

Dr Jones said doing more to tackle the problem, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting walking and cycling instead of driving, would go a long way to reduce diseases such as cancer, heart and lung diseases.

The University of Auckland Te Kupenga Hauora Maori senior lecturer said people's attitudes towards the issue needed to change, and climate change needed to be viewed as something that affected not just the environment but people's health as well.

"Māori in particular stand to suffer most from the effects of climate change. That's partly because they tend to live in poorer areas and have worse infrastructure, so are more vulnerable to some of the effects of climate change," he said.....

Ngati Tuwharetoa deal to be finalised
Ngati Tuwharetoa will today finalise the purchase of 8500 hectares of Crown land in the central North Island.

The Tuwharetoa Settlement Trust and five other Tuwharetoa groups will buy the land in a buy-to-lease deal.

Hautu-Rangipo Whenua Limited will buy the Tongariro-Rangipo Corrections Facility, including the Hautu prison farm near Turangi, and about 4000 hectares of timber plantations.

The package is costing about $20 million and is part of the Deferred Settlement Process, which was agreed with the Crown in the 2008 Central North Island Treaty Settlement.....

Natural Resources Plan Provides Certainty for Resource Use
Greater Wellington Regional Council today approved a ground-breaking new Proposed Natural Resources Plan that sets out rules and guidelines for protecting and sustainably using natural resources in the region.

GWRC Chair Fran Wilde says the plan sets limits for natural resource use and quality while ensuring an environment for economic growth.

Ms Wilde says the plan is the result of five years of collaboration with iwi, business and the community, starting with an award winning partnership with the region’s six mana whenua iwi.

Iwi representatives were invited to join GWRC’s Natural Resources Committee Te Upoko Taiao, which oversaw the consultation process and the drafting of the plan.

This partnership was recognised when GWRC and Te Ara Tahi – the council’s iwi leadership forum – co-won the 2012 IPANZ Gen-I Public Sector Excellence Award for Crown-Maori Relationships for Te Upoko Taiao.

“This partnership has been the envy of councils around New Zealand,” Ms Wilde says. “It’s exciting that Wellington has once more led the way and in this case on something that is so important to the people of the region – the use of our natural resources.....

Māori of the Wellington Region
GWRC has a partnership arrangement with six mana whenua authorities of the region who continue to maintain kaitiaki roles over their ancestral lands.

Mana whenua also have recognised overlapping interests with their iwi neighbours of the region.

Greater Wellington is home for mana whenua and taura here/matāwaka (non-mana whenua who call Wellington their home) Māori residents.

Maori residents comprise a rich mixture of tribal backgrounds. This ranges from the pre-colonial mana whenua who continue to maintain kaitiaki responsibilities over their ancestral lands, to the East Coast tribes encouraged to work and settle here by people such as Sir Apirana Ngata and Sir James Carroll...

July is Māori Language Month at Massey University
The revitalisation of the Māori language is so important that Massey University is extending Māori Language Week to include a whole month of activities.

Te Marama o Te Reo Māori kicks off on Wednesday with events like Māori movies, waiata sessions, guest speakers and giant Māori scrabble games on all campuses...

Iwi want guidelines for swamp kauri exporters
Some Northland Maori want involvement in the swamp kauri industry but one iwi is rejecting the notion as the trade does not bring benefits to its people.

The Forests Act 1949 bans the export of swamp kauri logs unless they are made into finished timber products. But claims have been made that exporters are skirting the ban by labelling kauri slabs as table tops, or superficially carving the logs and calling them artworks.

Northland iwi and hapu members said there should be more involvement from Maori.

Northland Regional Councillor and former MP Dover Samuels has accused the Ministry of Primary Industries of "pointing the finger" and trying to shift responsibility. The Ministry has said the Northland Regional Council, not MPI, was responsible for overseeing the extraction of swamp kauri.

Through the Resource Management Act, the regional council (NRC) was responsible only when extraction could damage protected species or wetlands.

Mr Samuels said he had no problem with swamp kauri being exploited, if it was done without environmental harm and if it was processed in New Zealand.

He said swamp kauri should enjoy similar protection to pounamu in the South Island, where Ngai Tahu controlled its exploitation.....

Call for more equality in top jobs
New research on equality in the workplace shows the playing-field is still tilted towards Pakeha men.

The Human Rights Commission says on every measure women, Maori, Pasifika, people with disabilities and young people get much less of a fair go at work.

It is calling for employers to bring in special measures to get underrepresented groups into top jobs.

The research showed the unemployment rate for Maori and Pasifika aged between 25 and 44 is three times that of their European counterparts.....

Brazilians ask for Maori input
A Northland sports club has been invited to represent New Zealand at the 'Olympics of indigenous games'.

The first World Indigenous Games will be held in Palmas, Brazil, in late October. They are being organised by Brazil's Indigenous Tribal Council and Ministry of Sport, with 24 Brazilian ethnic groups and people from 22 countries expected to take part.

Events will include archery, spear toss, tug-of-war, traditional canoeing, a 100m 'rustic race', wrestling and a native American ball game, xikunahati.

The organisers invited Bay of Islands man Harko Brown to help them shape the games' content, format and rules at a gathering in Brasilia which ends this weekend.

Mr Brown, an expert in traditional Maori games, founded the sports club Ki-o-rahi Akotanga Iho, which in 2010, along with All Black legend Buck Shelford, embarked on the world's first international tour with tests and demonstration games in the UK, France and Italy.

Before his departure for Brasilia Mr Brown said he had been asked to advise on how traditional Maori games were run in New Zealand. A crucial part of the preparation was the tatu, whereby competing tribes met beforehand to come up with an agreed set of rules.....

Ngāti Whātua Files Statement of Claim in Auckland High Court
Ngāti Whātua has today filed a statement of claim in the High Court at Auckland to seek a ruling to fast-­track the resolution of the difference of opinion over the extent of Ngāti Whātua’s Right of First Refusal (RFR) to surplus Crown land in Tamaki Makaurau.

This will be done by way of a judicial review of recent decisions and announcements around the Auckland Crown Land Programme, and in particular a property in Moire Rd in Massey.

“Ngāti Whātua is working closely with the government to get more houses built,” Ngāti Whātua’s Ngarimu Blair said today.

“At the same time, achieving clarity over the extent of our 172-­year RFR is a fundamental point of principle and economically important.

The relationship between Māori and the Crown was harmed for many generations by lack of agreement about the meaning of the articles of the Treaty of Waitangi and we are determined similar differences of opinion will not spoil the post-­settlement relationship.

Hastings leaves airport up in the air
A proposed name change for Hawke's Bay's airport remains up in the air after Hastings District Council yesterday failed to either support or oppose a move to rename it Ahuriri Airport Hawke's Bay.

Instead the council, which owns 24 per cent of the airport, voted narrowly in favour of a motion to support a similar but different name change - to Hawke's Bay Airport Ahuriri.

But following yesterday's Hastings District Council decision, airport company chairman Tony Porter said his board was not left with a clear mandate and would need to discuss what to do next.....

Review committee challenge rules
The change of direction in progress at the Waste Water Management Review Committee is being passed up the chain to the next stage.

The committee's appointed Maori members are in the process of challenging the rules under which the committee operates.

The WWMRC has been created out of the resource consent process that allows the city council to operate its Te Maunga wastewater ponds and outfalls. The consent requires the Tauranga City Council to have a joint council/Maori committee to administer a court ordered fund of ‘not less than' $250,000 and distribute it to the local affected iwi and hapu.

The council paid into the fund at $50,000 a year for five years before any distribution was made. There have been only two successful applicants securing funding to a total of $160,000. The committee's reason for existence is to distribute the fund, which it has failed to do.

There is $92,400 left. The council is 10 years into the consent. The Maori members also want the council to approve in the Long Term Plan, an additional $50,000 a year for five years, which will bring the cost of the coastal discharge consent up to $1.5 million....

Iwi leader probed over kereru
The Department of Conservation is investigating allegations that Ngapuhi chairman Sonny Tau tried to smuggle native birds on a flight up the length of the country under his jacket.

Last night 3News reported DoC were investigating the iwi leader, who was allegedly caught with five kereru - native wood pigeon - under his jacket as he boarded a flight from Invercargill to Northland.

3News said Mr Tau was caught with up to five kereru. It is thought he was taking the birds as a gift to his local kaumatua.

The birds were reportedly shot during a hunting trip, but it was unclear whether Mr Tau was responsible for killing them. It has been illegal to shoot kereru since 1864. Kereru have been totally protected since 1921....

Some Maori want to eat kereru, minister says
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell said eating Kereru was a practice that some groups still advocated for.

NZ First leader Winston Peters said he never knowingly ate native wood pigeon but one time at a marae in Hokianga suspected he might have been served some.

"I was too polite to ask".

Kereru were once a traditional source of food for Maori, but hunting them has been banned for nearly a century.

Ngapuhi leader David Rankin said there was nothing wrong with catching kereru.

"Article two of the Treaty of Waitangi guarantees Maori the full, exclusive and undisturbed possession of our fauna and flora. Basically, the problem is that the law hasn't caught up with the Treaty.".....

Minister: Iwi have withdrawn legal action
Two iwi are no longer taking court action over the sale of public land for housing in Auckland, the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations says.

Ngāti Whātua and Tainui have previously said they were going to the High Court to clarify whether they should have been offered the right of first refusal to purchase the land.

But Christopher Finlayson said there were no court proceedings underway and, after speaking with Tainui this morning, that was unlikely to change.

He maintained the Government had acted in good faith with the iwi throughout the process.

Mr Finlayson said iwi were interested in moving forward and it was better for everyone involved if court action was avoided.

Ngāti Whātua and Tainui have not yet responded to a request by Te Manu Korihi for comment...

Iwi says 'time to forgive' Rena owner
A Bay of Plenty iwi has decided not to oppose a plan to leave the wreck of container ship Rena on Otaiti - the Astrolabe Reef - just off the coast from Tauranga.

Ngāti Ranginui chair Tawharangi Nuku said the agreement signals a decision to acknowledge the grounding and its impact on Tauranga moana, but heralds a significant decision to move on.

Mr Nuku said Ngati Ranginui respected the right of other iwi to make their own decisions and do what was right for them.

Te Arawa has made a similar agreement with the Rena's owner....

TAIHOA to TPPA - application for urgent Treaty hearing
A group of esteemed Māori leaders and academics, including Dr Papaarangi Reid, Moana Jackson, Rikirangi Gage, Angeline Greensill, Hone Harawira and Moana Maniapoto have filed a claim and application for urgent hearing today in the Waitangi Tribunal.

The claim alleges that the government’s actions in negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPPA) are a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi and its principles.

The claimants say that the TPPA procedurally and substantively prejudices them and undermines the guarantees to Māori under the Treaty to the exercise of their tino rangatiratanga in governance decisions that affect them.

State house 'going to waste' amidst housing shortage
An empty Housing New Zealand house on an overgrown property in Wakapuaka near Nelson is going to waste, say surrounding property owners.

But the property needed to go through a First Right of Refusal process with local iwi first and foremost.

"This means it must first be offered to local iwi before it can be considered for sale on the open market," he said.

Housing New Zealand had started the process with iwi, but Conway said discussions were still in early stages with those iwi.....

Iwi Leaders applaud the PCE report into Freshwater
The Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group has welcomed the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s report into freshwater.

“The recommendations, particularly concerning water quality, support the key messages the Freshwater Iwi Leaders group has been advocating for on behalf of all iwi. Te Mana o te Wai – improved water quality – is one of our key objectives in ‘Ngā Mātāpono ki te Wai’, our framework model,” said the Freshwater Iwi Advisors chair, Roku Mihinui.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment recommended six improvements to the Freshwater National Policy Statement. Those recommendations are:....

Paul James appointed New Zealand’s new culture ministry chief
Before his time at the DIA, James worked as director of the Ministry of Justice’s Office of Treaty Settlements, which is tasked with negotiating settlements due to historical breaches of the Treaty of Waitangi – an agreement between representatives of the British Crown and various Māori tribe chiefs from the North island of New Zealand first signed in 1840.

In this post, he oversaw a significant increase in the rate of settlements achieved.

He has also worked in policy roles in the Treasury, Accident Compensation Corporation, and Te Puni Kokiri – as the government’s principal adviser on its relationship with the iwi, hapu and Maori tribes.....

Ngāi Tahu market garden gets boost
A Ngāi Tahu market garden is getting a funding boost from the South Island Whānau Ora agency.

The garden would act as a catalyst for hapū-led food farming ventures.

The garden at Koukourārata, or Port Levy, on Banks Peninsula, is the original site where the iwi cultivated food to sell to colonists in the 1880s.

It would be used for education and research opportunities.....

Social Value Aotearoa launched
The head of an urban Māori authority is calling for the Government to introduce measures showing whether the funding it provides is actually producing results.

Te Whānau O Waipareira Trust and the North Island Whānau Ora Commissioning agency, Te Pou Matakana, have launched 'Social Value Aotearoa'.

The network aims to get organisations, including those in the public sector, to think about more than just the costs of providing a service.

It wanted an assessment model to be introduced which analysed whether there were actually any tangible benefits for those the funding was meant to help.

Trust chief executive John Tamihere said the Government's current approach was not working and it needed to adopt a different one.....

Disabled Maori more disadvantaged - survey
The lives of disabled Māori have come under the spotlight with He haua Maori - Findings from the 2013 Disability Survey.

It found one in four Māori are disabled.

The Statistics New Zealand survey showed that while many disabled Māori enjoyed good levels of material well-being and quality of life, overall they tended to fare worse that non-disabled Māori.

Just over half of those disabled were working, but their incomes were lower than for others, with two-thirds having an annual income of $30,000 or less.

A quarter said their income was not sufficient to meet everyday needs.....

What on earth is going on at Maori TV?
The latest allegations of direct interference with Maori TV editorial content by Te Ururoa Flavell demands a serious investigation because it simply does not pass the scratch and sniff test of independent journalism.

Emails show Te Ururoa Flavell complaining to Maori TV chief executive Paora Maxwell about including Winston Peters in a debate about Whanau Ora, Flavell then met with Maxwell and less than two hours later, the debate was cancelled....

Beach plans 'open huge can of worms'
A governance board made up of iwi and council representatives will "open up a huge can of worms" when it takes over management of Ninety Mile Beach, a district councillor says.

Currently, no single body manages Ninety Mile Beach. Various parts are controlled by the district council, regional council, DoC and iwi.

Council policy and planning manager Kathryn Ross said the board was part of settlement legislation for four of the five Te Hiku iwi. It was going through Parliament and would soon become law.

Far North-based Northland Regional councillors Dover Samuels and Monty Knight have been appointed as that council's representatives on the new Te Oneroa-a-Tohe Board. The board's first task will be to develop a management plan for the beach. The council's role on the board will be to articulate the concerns of residents and ratepayers.

The Crown will give the NRC $150,000 for the board's initial operating costs and $250,000 for developing the management plan.

No funding has been provided for the Far North District Council's costs....

North Shore Maori left in cold for tangi
Whanau on Auckland’s North Shore want Auckland Council to help them build a marae so they don’t have to use garages and tents to host tangihanga.

Te Aniwa Tutara says there is no suitable marae to service the large Maori community in Beach Haven, Birkdale and Northcote.

She says Beach Haven has more than a dozen church, school and community halls, and now the Kaipatiki Local Board wants to build another one without considering the needs of Maori...

Nick Smith may get his houses yet
One of the problems may have been that both the Crown the iwi appear to have been arguing at cross purposes.

It seems unlikely that the iwi actually want to develop the land.

What they are seeking is a pro forma recognition of what they consider their Treaty Right to be offered the land even if it is only for them to turn it down.....

Children of prisoners need more help - advocate
Rethinking Crime and Punishment spokesperson Kim Workman said Māori tamariki were more vulnerable, and research was needed into the positive effects of support groups for children with parents in prison.

"When you get conditions and systems that put people at disadvantage, that puts Māori at increased disadvantage because there are more of them and so the effect is quite traumatic on families, so this is a target group that really needs the attention of policy."...

Rena stance upsets iwi
Bay of Plenty iwi are upset coastal Te Arawa has broken ranks and struck a deal with the owners and insurers of the Rena to drop opposition to leaving what’s left of the stricken cargo ship on Otaiti-Astrolabe reef.

Te Arawa Coastal iwi spokesperson Raewyn Bennett says after getting expert advice her iwi were convinced that option is better for the environment.

They have negotiated conditions they want in any resource consent, and they also intend setting up a marine education centre.

But Buddy Mikaere, who has links to hapu on Motiti Island most directly affected by the wreck, says other iwi feel betrayed.

He told Radio Waatea host Willie Jackson the $750,000 offered to each iwi to drop their objections falls well short of a reasonable price.

"We’ll only sign up if they give us about $500 million because we understand that will be the cost of getting the wreck off the reef" he says.

Buddy Mikaere says because of the power of the Rena’s Swedish insurer in the industry, it is hard to find salvage experts willing to testify against the plan...

Hato Petera 'not for sale'
Bishop Pat Dunn returned from a fortnight in Tokelau to clarify that the diocese never intended to sell the Northcote property.

"He has become annoyed at the constantly repeated comments in the media that the diocese is going to sell the land. This has not come from us. We cannot, because it is a Crown grant for educational purposes," he said via a spokeswoman.

He also spurned a Treaty of Waitangi claim by college old boys who want 152ha of land, including the college and AUT's Northcote campus.

"He finds the Treaty ... claim is spurious, based on false information. The Crown grant was to the bishops of Auckland for the education of children from both races and from the islands of the Pacific. They seem to have the idea that it was left for Maori education, which it was not.....

Samuels, Knight appointed to Te Oneroa-a-Tohe Board
Far North-based regional councillors Dover Samuels and Monty Knight have been appointed as the council’s representatives on the new Te Oneroa-a-Tohe Board.

The beach board – which will jointly manage Ninety Mile Beach as part of a looming Treaty of Waitangi settlement – is expected to become operative later this year and be made up of eight to 10 members;

Councillor Samuels, who also chairs the regional council’s Te Tai Tokerau Maori Advisory Committee, says the looming establishment of the beach board is a significant milestone.

“It will mark the beginning of a long-awaited new relationship between Te Hiku iwi, our council and the FNDC.”

Councillor Samuels says the board’s purpose is to co-develop a management plan for iconic Ninety Mile Beach and the “eyes of the nation” both Maori and non-Maori will be watching with keen interest to see what is ultimately proposed....

Iwi talks "constructive" but staying private
The Building and Housing Minister is keeping his cards close to his chest over the state of play with Auckland iwi over the Government's housing plans.

Nick Smith says talks remain ongoing as iwi have raised concerns their Treaty settlement rights are being breached by the Government's proposal to set aside Crown land for residential development by private interests.

He won't say anything about whether the Crown will take part in a joint court case to determine the plan's legal status.

"No I'm not going to be public. I'm going to have discussions directly with Iwi.

"All I'm saying is that those discussions have been constructive and ongoing."...

Human rights complaints over Maori driver amnesty
Complaints have been made to the Human Rights Commission over a move by police to spare Maori drivers from being ticketed if they're caught without a licence.

The police now admit the driver's licence amnesty in South Auckland, in which Maori drivers were not fined, should never have happened

The instruction to Counties Manukau police, which had been in place for 18 months, said all Maori drivers caught without a licence or in breach of licence conditions should be given two months to fix the problem before they're fined.

The Human Rights Commission said it had now received complaints about the police instructions, which were being dealt with by its complaints resolution team......

Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa confirm land sold by Māori Education Trust will be returned
Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa iwi are rejoicing over the news that land originally gifted and sold by the Māori Education Trust is now destined to be returned.

The Māori Education Trust was originally gifted the farm by a Pākehā farmer, Ned Holmes in the 60's for the benefit of local Iwi.

But just this year, the Māori Education Trust sold it to private ownership to pay off debt.

Hone Oneroa says, “The Crown did wrong in the first place leaving out Te Wairarapa whānau within Hinewaka, today it was announced and understood that the Crown is now a way to return the land back to the whānau.”

Crown representatives will meet with the owners next week in Taranaki to talk about the buy back options....

Old boys from Hato Petera lodge Treaty claim for land
Old boys of troubled Auckland Catholic co-ed boarding school Hato Petera have lodged a Treaty of Waitangi claim on the property and surrounding land, including AUT's Northcote campus.

Past pupils of the college in Northcote referred to the land's history and how the Church got it 165 years ago when lodging their Treaty claim, known as Wai 1385.

Racial bias in mortgage lending exposed
Researchers say they are shocked to find an apparent racial bias by mortgage lenders against Maori people who "look Maori" - but real estate entrepreneur Mike Pero is not surprised.

The Auckland University research has found that a Maori person who rates 5.55 out of 7 on a scale of Maori-like personal appearance is twice as likely not to own their own home as a European-looking Maori rating only 1 on the scale, after allowing for all other factors including income and age.

The effect of personal appearance on home ownership was roughly as strong as the effect of income - a result that shocked the researchers.

However Dr Eric Crampton of the NZ Initiative think-tank said there could be many other explanations for this besides racial bias. For example, people who looked more Maori might have parents who did not have freehold properties to use as collateral for loans, a factor that was not surveyed.

"Banks would be throwing money away if they decided to not lend to somebody simply based on looks," he said.

Mortgage brokers Bruce Patten in Auckland and Karen Essex-Mooney in Blenheim both said they had never seen a mortgage application turned down because the borrowers were Maori. They said many borrowers now applied online and never actually met the lenders.

New Zealand Bankers' Association chief executive Kirk Hope said racial stereotyping was not in the banks' or their customers interests especially within such a competitive part of the banking sector.

"Banks consider a range of factors when making a lending decision," he said. "The customer's ability to repay the loan is among the most important things banks take into account.

"They'll also look at your equity in the property and any possible changes in your future circumstances."

Maori Party won't attend Mana Movement hui
Māori Party President, Naida Glavish has confirmed that the recent notice by Mana Movement issued on 14 June incorrectly states that the hui to be held in Tamaki Makaurau on Sunday 21 June will include the Māori Party.

"No representatives of the Māori Party will be in attendance. Should any of our membership attend they will be doing so in a personal capacity," advised Ms Glavish.

"Any future meeting between our parties will need to be endorsed by our National Council and Executive and to date that hasn’t happened. If an opportunity arises in the future we will give it due consideration."...

Principal Māori academic appointed
Lincoln University – New Zealand’s specialist land-based University – today announced the appointment of Professor Hirini Matunga (Ngāi Tahu, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu, Rongowhakaata, Ngāti Paerangi (Atiu, Cook Islands)) as the University’s Professor of Māori & Indigenous Development.

“This is the University’s principal Māori academic position and I am delighted that we have been able to bring this top academic back into a teaching and research position,” says Dr Stefanie Rixecker, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Scholarship and Research.

“Professor Matunga has been part of the senior leadership team at Lincoln for many years and has been instrumental in developing relationships with Iwi all around New Zealand, and in the formation of our Whenua Strategy – the strategy that drives the University’s engagement with Māori in the land-based sectors in a way that gives rise to meaningful and enduring partnerships. His contribution in this has indeed been valuable, but his passion lies in the academic world and I am pleased that Professor Matunga will be taking up this senior professorial position.”....

Maori authorities boost asset base
Maori authorities now manage an asset base of more than $12.5 billion.

In the latest snapshot from its Tatauranga Umanga Maori project to define and identify the role of Maori businesses in the Maori and New Zealand economies, Statistics New Zealand says Maori authorities have evolved beyond traditional land-based industries and are reaching into areas like financial and insurance services.

It says 89 percent of Maori authorities are in the North Island, with 27 percent in the Bay of Plenty and 21 percent in Waikato.

Most filled jobs in the authorities were in agriculture, forestry and fishing, education and training, and health care and social assistance.

The asset base in the sector grew 9.1 percent from 2012 to 2012 to reach $12.5 billion.

Total income increased 18 percent to reach $2.9 billion in 2013.

Maori authorities exported goods worth 526 million in 2014, with seafood the top export commodity.

China took 44 percent of the Maori exports.

Smith goes to ground after iwi meeting
Housing Minister Nick Smith has gone to ground after a tense meeting with two iwi.

Smith met with Ngati Whatua and Tainui yesterday, to try dissuade them from taking High Court action over the release of Crown land in Auckland for housing.

The meeting went until late in the evening, but the Minister is refusing to talk to media about how the negotiations went.

A spokesperson says Smith will only comment on the issue when he feels it is appropriate to do so...

Race-based police policy to be changed
"I received an assurance from him that that was not the intent of the policy and that the policy will be amended to make that clear."

Mr Woodhouse said he did not condone any policy that had the effect or appearance of treating one group of people differently from another.

Mr Bush said tonight at Superintendent John Tims of Counties Manukau was looking into how the policy guidelines had been followed in his district.

He said the wording of the policy was inappropriate and would be changed....

New head of UC School of Māori and Indigenous Studies
University of Canterbury has appointed Sacha McMeeking (Ngāi Tahu) as the new Head of School of Aotahi: Māori and Indigenous Studies. Ms McMeeking will join the College of Arts at the end of June as a Senior Lecturer and as Head of School.

Ms McMeeking has been at the forefront of Iwi, Māori and indigenous development in a career that has spanned more than 16 years, being based both locally and internationally. Domestically, she has led substantive commercial and policy reforms, particularly focussed within a Post Treaty Settlement environment. Formerly, she was the General Manager of Strategy and Influence at Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu where she was responsible for significant inter-Iwi initiatives, including commercial partnerships as well as landmark policy outcomes that reflect post-Settlement Treaty partnership...

Finlayson might join iwi in court
Minister looks at backing Maori effort to clarify right of refusal for housing land but says challenge ‘a surprise’

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson has not ruled out joining iwi in court to resolve a dispute on the sale of surplus land in Auckland to private developers.

But Mr Finlayson appears to be fuming about Ngati Whatua and Tainui-Waikato's legal challenge over the right of first refusal, which he said came as a complete surprise.

"But look, that's the way things go and I deal with my Treaty partners in the same positive way they deal with me."

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell urged the Government to clarify the issue in court.

He said that the issue had "huge connotations" for iwi around the country, who had told him that they were watching the case very closely.....

Police told not to ticket unlicenced Maori drivers in South Auckland
Unlicensed Maori drivers caught behind the wheel in South Auckland are getting the chance to avoid a $400 fine.

Police are defending the move, saying it's part of their goal to reduce Maori offending and that it's crucial and it's working.

Documents leaked to ONE News show the "guidelines"police in South Auckland say they've been enforcing since last year.

The paperwork spells out that all Maori drivers caught without a licence or in breach of their conditions are to be referred for training and not given a ticket.....

Hapū grill Hawke's Bay Regional Council over water bottling plants
Iwi, hapū and members of the community met with the Hawke's Bay Regional Council last night to have their questions answered over why non-notified consent had been granted to allow water to be extracted from the Heretaunga Aquifer.

One Pure International has been given permission to extract more than 405,000 cubic metres of water a year and ship it overseas. The water will be extracted from an Awatoto bottling plant currently being constructed.

Hawke's Bay Regional councillor Ian MacDonald said there is no discrimination when people are applying for water uptake. The council will look at it's intended use and whether the limit will be enough and what affect it will have on the environment before granting it.....

Māori Board: Auckland Council progress 'disappointing'
The Independent Māori Statutory Board says Auckland Council needs to work much harder to address the needs of mana whenua in the wake of a performance audit.

The board's chair, David Taipari, said progress was too slow and the council was yet to fulfil its Treaty obligations.

The board was set up after the formation of the "supercity" to promote issues important to Māori in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Its role is to ensure the council takes those issues into account when making decisions.

"The general capacity of council is an issue and how they deal with things Māori. So I think those are key fundamental areas," he said.

"I think they're still grasping with understanding their legal obligations,....

Kohanga Reo board debate reaches impasse
The debate about the Kohanga Reo board has come to a impasse, with Labour calling for the education minister Hekia Parata to demand resignations, but the minister saying it's not her place.

Maori Television's Native Affairs revealed last night that a review by Internal Affairs had said there was "gross mismanagement" at the trust's subsidiary, Te Pataka Ohanga, including $110,000 in director's payments to the Maori king when he was not a director.....

Ihaka takes up Senior Communications Advisor role
Putting Māori Members of Parliament (MPs) at the forefront of important New Zealand politics is Jodi Ihaka's plan, as she was recently appointed the Labour Party's new Senior Communications Advisor (Māori).

"I'm really excited to use my communication skills in such an important Māori advisory capacity. I have loved my time at Whakaata Māori (Māori Television) and have nothing but respect for the Māori journalists on Te Kāea and Native Affairs," says Ihaka.

The position sees Ihaka take on a key advisory role to Labour leader, Andrew Little as well as Māori MPs including Kelvin Davis, Peeni Henare, Louisa Wall, Meka Whaitiri, Nanaia Mahuta and Adrian Rurawhe...

Concern over the future of beach access for all
The Far North District Council has voted to appoint Mayor John Carter and Cr David Collard as its representatives to Te Oneroa a Tohe (90 Mile Beach) Governance Board, which will be formed as part of the Treaty settlements for four Te Hiku iwi, against strong opposition from Te Hiku Ward councillor Mate Radich.

His concerns included that effectively giving responsibility for management of the beach to iwi would likely see public access restricted, and not only on 90 Mile Beach.

"East Beach has to be a worry now," he said.

"There are people at Kaimaumau who are waiting to see what happens, and I wouldn't be surprised if public access to that beach came under threat too. Remember the road from the village to the harbour has never been legalised."

There were already problems, he added. A 'No Parking' sign had been erected at the Bluff - "That didn't come from the district council, the regional council or DOC" - and Ngati Kuri was benefiting financially from tour buses using Te Paki Stream to get on to and off the beach.

"What about the other tribes? Will Ngai Takoto start charging at Waipapakauri Ramp and Te Rarawa at Shipwreck Bay?" he asked.

"If access is restricted or charged for in one place, it will soon be restricted or charged for everywhere.

"Once the tribes have control, what do you think is going to happen? Will the mussel spat harvesters have to pay a levy? What about the crayfishermen at Ahipara?....

No apology from Auditor-General over Whanau Ora
The Auditor-General says she will not be apologising for criticism she has made about Whānau Ora.

In a report tabled in Parliament on 5 May, Lyn Provost said Whānau Ora's administration was cumbersome and unusual.

The report found nearly $42.3 million of the programme's $137 million funding had gone to administration.

Iwi Chairs Forum spokesperson Sonny Tau said the comments were unfortunate and he believed the Auditor-General was set to talk to an iwi leaders meeting to apologise personally.

However, while Ms Provost confirmed she had accepted an invitation to an Iwi Chairs Forum meeting, she said she would not apologise.

In her report, she outlined her hope that the criticism be taken on board....

Iwi want representation on New Plymouth District Council
Taranaki iwi leaders have pleaded with the council to reconsider how Maori can have a voice in local politics.

This week about 30 iwi members came together to talk at a public forum about the future make-up of the New Plymouth District Council.

All 14 councillors were invited to the meeting. The only ones in attendance where Harry Duynhoven, Richard Handley, Richard Jordan, Craig McFarlane, Howie Tamati, and mayor Andrew Judd.....

Call for better exploration consultation
A Far North hapū is demanding the mining, oil and gas exploration industries engage more with Māori when they want to drill in their rohe.

It said the area was spiritually significant and one of the most sacred places in Aotearoa.

Te Ahipara Kōmiti Takutaimoana spokesperson Catherine Murupaenga-Aken said the Government was too hands-off in its approach and that more needs to be done to engage with Māori during the permit application process.

"We know there's a declaration of rights and independence, we know there's a Tiriti o Waitangi, we know there's legislation and such, but what's on paper and what happens in practice is like two different universes. The reality is they aren't implementing what their obligations are," she said.

Te Ahipara Kōmiti Takutaimoana has filed a claim accusing the Government of breaching the Treaty of Waitangi.

Iwi land row heads to court
Ngati Whatua and Waikato-Tainui have decided to go to court to challenge the Government's interpretation of "right of first refusal" in light of Budget moves to free up surplus land in Auckland for private housing developments.

But in a bid to avoid souring their relationship with the Government, the tribes are inviting the Crown to join them in seeking clarification of the law.

The tribes have asked the law firm Russell McVeagh to seek an urgent meeting with the Solicitor-General Mike Heron to discuss the possibility of a joint approach to the courts.

The announcement of the joint action follows a meeting yesterday between 13 iwi with interests in and around Auckland and Housing Minister Nick Smith and Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson.

Transfers of power
Iwi can be granted the power to make resource consent decisions (or other powers) by councils under the RMA. Section 33 allows councils to transfer any of their functions, powers or duties to another public authority, including iwi authorities.

The iwi authority has to make an application for this, and both parties must agree that:
  • they want the transfer to take place
  • the iwi authority is the appropriate group able to deliver the duties, functions or powers efficiently
  • the iwi authority has the expertise to exercise the powers....

Connection to land vital for Whanau Ora
The close relationship between whānau and whenua (the land) provides the foundation for the new model of whānau health and the South Island Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency, Te Putahitanga o te Wai Pounamu are showing their support by investing $237,000 in the first stage of the initiative.

The market garden, utilising a site originally used to sell food to early colonists as far back as the 1880s, will become the catalyst for hapū-led food farming ventures, education and research opportunities, and Te Putahitanga Chair Norm Dewes is enthusiastic about the potential of the project....

Ugly attitudes towards Maori language
It's no secret that the Maori language is in a vulnerable state. And according to research by Kahurangi Maxwell, so are parents who wish to bring their children up speaking Maori in NewZealand.

"Significant are the pervasive and negative attitudes towards a reo Maori lifestyle that are founded in a belief that English must remain predominant and might be threatened," Kahurangi said....

Calls for Māori flag to have equal status
A sovereignty group is calling for the Māori flag to be given the same status as the New Zealand flag.

Te Ata Tino Toa presented the policy at a flag consultation workshop in Wellington on Thursday.

The group's chair said at the moment the Tino Rangatiratanga flag can only be flown by the Government on certain days, such as Waitangi Day, but that needs to change.

Te Ao Pritchard said the organisation's policy was based on the partnership principles in the Treaty of Waitangi and would make both flags equal all of the time.

"So the new flag that will be chosen by the New Zealand people can fly alongside the Māori flag as well," she said.

Ms Pritchard said that would give the Māori flag more mana and the recognition it deserved.

Government fast-tracks 1000 more homes
The Government has fast-tracked the building of a further 1000 houses and apartments at Hobsonville Pt and about 300 of those will cost less than $550,000 - a higher proportion of "affordable" homes than the rest of the 3000-house development.

In the Budget, he also unveiled plans to use more crown land in Auckland for housing. He and Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson are to meet with Tamaki Collective iwi to discuss the bypassing of the iwi rights of first refusal on the land....

Iwi expects apology from Auditor General
Maori leader Sonny Tau says the Auditor General is to apologise for comments she made criticising the amount of Whanau Ora funding spent on administration.

Auditor General Lynn Provost told a select committee last month Whanau Ora's administration was cumbersome and unusual.

She told MPs out of the $137 million in funding the scheme has had, 20 percent had gone on administration.

He said that 20 percent spent on administration was not a big fee....

Cross removed from Puketāpapa-Mt Roskill
The new Māori authority that looks after Auckland's volcanic cones is working with church leaders and a local board after a cross that once stood at the summit of Puketāpapa-Mount Roskill was removed.

"The Maunga Authority has agreed to receive an application to erect the cross for future events and consider this next month."

The cross on Puketāpapa-Mt Roskill is usually put up during Christmas and Easter, but due to an oversight, it remained in place without authorisation...

Whiff of racism seen in 'H' debate
The decision by the Wanganui District Council to ask the New Zealand Geographic Board to insert the dreaded "H" in the name of the district has had the unfortunate - though predictable - effect of pitching Maori against non-Maori.

Some reactions have had a whiff of racism about them, though the R-word remains largely taboo in polite conversation.

But perhaps it is something we should be a little more open about. Most of us - whatever our hue - have been guilty of racism at some point ... that's life. Usually it is born out of ignorance and it often dissipates as that ignorance dissipates.

The issue threatened to raise its head when the Wanganui council considered spending $150,000 a year for the next 10 years on iwi relations.

But hard information about just where the money would go and what exactly it would be spent on was in short supply.

Rather the expenditure was wrapped up in woolly platitudes. That does no one any favours - especially iwi....

Trout deal with iwi 'just isn't on'
A treaty settlement allowing a central North Island iwi to rear and harvest trout for consumption is "disturbing", says Fish and Game.

The Crown and Ngati Tuwharetoa have signed an agreement in principle which proposes including trout as part of a Treaty of Waitangi claim settlement.

"The Crown has little to do with trout and it is politically inflammatory to use them to settle its Treaty obligations.

"Anglers brought trout to this country, not the government, and generations of anglers have protected, managed and nurtured sports fish, paying for them from their own pockets."

He called the proposal a "slap in the face", and said courts had already determined Maori have no Treaty-based statutory relationship with trout....

Caution needed on Te Ture Whenua review
Caution is needed around the Te Ture Whenua Review, to prevent further injustice and the loss of Māori land rights, says Meka Whaitiri, Labour MP for Ikaroa Rāwhiti.

“The possibility the Te Ture Whenua Review could weaken judicial protections and see people lose meaningful interests in fractionally owned Māori land is concerning.

“Māori should be able to control their own destiny in respect of their land. There can be difficult issues around fractionally owned Māori land, particularly where a large number of people hold small interests....

Fish & Game Demands Answers Over Taupo Trout Deal
Fish & Game is meeting the Office of Treaty Settlements to get answers over a controversial proposal to allow Ngati Tuwharetoa to raise trout in Taupo’s existing trout hatchery facilities.

The Office of Treaty Settlements has confirmed the Crown and the Tuwharetoa Hapu Forum on behalf of Ngati Tuwharetoa have signed an agreement in principle to include trout as part of the settlement of Tuwharetoa’s outstanding Treaty of Waitangi claims.

The agreement in principle allows Tuwharetoa to use the Tongariro National Trout Centre to raise and harvest trout for consumption for “cultural purposes”. Tuwharetoa would also be allowed to train iwi members in trout rearing.

Fish & Game chief executive Bryce Johnson says the proposals are disturbing and come as a complete surprise.

“Fish & Game is the primary manager and guardian of trout in New Zealand and yet we knew nothing of this proposal.....

Indigenous research conference registrations open
The conference pōwhiri will be at the University of Waikato, Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts on Sunday, 28 June from 10.30am-1pm, followed by a range of indigenous performances and a poetry slam. In the week before the conference, there will be pre-conference community workshops with the keynote speakers.

The keynote speakers at the conference include Professor Pou Temara, Associate Professor Leonie Pihama, Professor Karina Walters, Moe Milne, Dr Jamee Māhealani Miller, Dr Ruakere Hond, Dr Bonnie Duran, Professor Graham Hingangaroa Smith, Professor Bob Morgan, Dr Sarah-Jane Tiakiwai, Mereana Pitman and Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith.

Several hundred people are expected to attend the conference, with visitors from Hawaii, Australia, Canada and America mixing with a broad range of academics, researchers, students, iwi and community representatives from around New Zealand.

The conference title and theme, He Manawa Whenua, is the Māori term for a subterranean aquifer or an underground spring. It is from this source that the most pure, clear and refreshing water is obtained, being naturally filtered through the land before emerging at the surface. Water is life, and because a Manawa Whenua originates deep within the earth, Māori believe it is a most precious resource, vital for the well-being of the people. The statement “he manawa whenua e kore e mimiti”, considers that the flow of the underground spring is everlasting, therefore its benefits are unlimited.

This conference views mātauranga Māori as a Manawa Whenua, or a pool of knowledge, that is situated within the heart of the people. Like the water, this knowledge has been filtered throughout time by the community as well as the environment to become central to the life and well-being of Māori. This Māori centred knowledge also has the potential to deliver unlimited benefits for Māori, both now and into the future....

Ngai Tahu to expand into Auckland market, led by Eden Park boss
Ngāi Tahu Property, the property investor of the dominant South Island iwi, is entering the Auckland market and has snagged Eden Park Trust boss David Kennedy to lead the expansion.

"After appropriate investigation and analysis, Ngāi Tahu Property has decided to expand the business to include the Auckland market," said Tony Sewell, chief executive of Ngāi Tahu Property.....

Māori at risk in unsafe mines, quarries
A union representing mine and quarry workers says Māori are among those most at risk following delays to health and safety laws.

Its national president Syd Keepa said Māori were over-represented in workplace accident statistics and are in high-risk jobs which were made even riskier when run by unqualified people.

Lobster business partnership announced
Port Nicholson Fisheries and Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd have decided to partner to form the largest Maori-owned lobster processing business in New Zealand.

From 1 April 2016 Aotearoa Fisheries’ lobster division will join together with Port Nicholson Fisheries to process and export their live lobster to the world. The new partnership will process 650 tonnes of lobster quota.

This represents approximately 44 per cent of the North Island and Chathams TACC and 23 per cent of New Zealand’s total live lobster exports.

“The coming together of Aotearoa Fisheries and Port Nicholson fisheries is a significant milestone for Maori business and the New Zealand seafood industry,” Port Nicholson Fisheries Chairman Dion Tuuta says.

“The partnership brings together like-minded Maori lobster businesses with a common shareholder base, aligned values and a shared vision for the future,” Tuuta adds.

Pa Kids a 'stepping stone' to Maori school in Marlborough
A new pilot programme at Omaka Marae is a "stepping stone" to setting up a Maori school in Marlborough, say marae leaders.

Pa Kids is a weekly programme at Omaka Marae, near Blenheim, that teaches children about Maori language and culture.....

Pukekura Reserves Co-Management Trust Board
Launched in March 2013, the Plan covers reserves at Pukekura vested in the DCC, the Ngāi Tahu Ancillary Claims Trust and in the Crown (administered by DoC). It is intended to provide a consistent management and policy framework for all of the Pukekura Reserves while promoting kaitiakitanga, or stewardship, of the land. The Plan identifies the Pukekura values as (in order of significance), ecological, cultural, historic, public appreciation, and tourism and commercial.

Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull says, “Formation of the Trust Board is a major step in a process that has involved many years of discussion and work, achieving a collaborative vision and kaitiakitanga for the Pukekura Reserves...

DoC letter sparks trout farming fears
Crown’s proposed deal with Ngati Tuwharetoa has anglers on alert after including harvesting of fish option.

According to the DoC letter, these include "arrangements for Ngati Tuwharetoa to use a raceway and any other existing facilities not required by DoC and the ability to construct new facilities ... for the purposes of raising trout to harvest for important occasions".

A spokesman for the office said: "The agreement in principle does not allow for commercial trout farming. The use of the raceway is to raise trout for cultural purposes only. We believe this arrangement will enhance the educational and cultural role of the Tongariro Trout Centre."

Mr Orman said it was incongruous that DoC was proposing "a form of trout farming" when DoC received anglers' licence money for Taupo to represent the interests of recreational licence holders.

Bryce Johnson, chief executive of Fish & Game New Zealand, also questions the constitutional basis for an inclusion in a historical Treaty of Waitangi claim when trout were not introduced to New Zealand until the late 1800s, long after the Treaty was signed.

"Successive court cases have explicitly confirmed that trout, as an introduced species for sports fishing, are not a consideration under the Treaty, so where is the legal basis for this proposal?" Mr Johnson asked.

Allan Simmons, a Taupo-Tongariro fishing guide for nearly 30 years and president and outdoors spokesman for United Future, said: "This current proposal looks like a devious attempt to bring in trout farming under the guise of Treaty settlements and utilise facilities that have been funded by anglers' licences."....

Whanaungatanga important in life satisfaction for Māori
A new report from Statistics New Zealand shows that 4 out of 5 Māori are highly satisfied with their lives and that health, relationships, and income are the most important factors contributing to their life satisfaction.

Connection to culture also has a small but significant association with higher life satisfaction: the more important Māori feel it is to be involved with Māori culture, the higher their levels of life satisfaction....

Housing Minister to meet tribes after Ngati Whatua denied right of first refusal on Crown property.
The Government is seeking a "workable solution" with Ngati Whatua over plans to develop huge tracts of land in Auckland, after two more iwi spoke out against the Crown's treatment of the Auckland tribe.

Ngati Whatua o Orakei is expected to decide this week whether it will take the Government to court over the decision not to grant it right of first refusal on up to 500ha of Crown land earmarked for housing. Two other large iwi, Waikato-Tainui and Ngai Tahu, have echoed Ngati Whatua's concerns.

Yesterday, Prime Minister John Key reiterated the Government's position that right-of-first-refusal rules were only triggered when the state no longer had a need for the land.

But he said Housing Minister Nick Smith planned to meet the Tamaki Collective - which includes Ngati Whatua - to discuss the issue. A hui had been scheduled for Sunday and all 13 iwi from the collective had been invited.

Mr Key said: "Who knows what might come out the other end but there might be a workable solution that benefits everybody."

Asked whether some of the Auckland land would be offered to Ngati Whatua, he said: "Not necessarily that. But there might be another way through the issue."....

Land Based Taxes and Māori
While it can be argued that the “full and final” settlements have resolved this issue, the imposition of a tax on land is a shift in the underlying foundations on which the Iwi settlements have been based.

In effect, the imposition of a capital gains tax or a land value tax would amount to a further attempt by the Crown to profit from the breach of Māori rights to their ancestral whenua. Māori rights to their whenua should be, and must be, taken into account in the formulation of any land based taxed and, therefore, a portion of the income raised (50%) should be returned to the traditional owners of the land as on-going compensation for the breach of their rights. At the heart of the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi is the notion of a partnership between the Crown and Māori. It is not a partnership of equals while one party continues to profit from the harm it has caused the other....

Settlements bring hope and optimism
There is much optimism and hope amongst Maori communities that the pending treaty settlements will add value to culture and communities.

The combined estimated value of around $400m will be 99.9 per cent invested in the Kahungunu region, including Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa. Marae redevelopment and small business renaissance has triggered bubbling energy amongst our people.

After 20 years of the settlement of Ngai Tahu and Waikato claims of $170m and $140m respectively, they have both just tipped over the $1b mark.

The true original settlement quantum was valued at only 2 per cent of the real losses suffered by those iwi and the Ngti Kahungunu settlements are at the same ratio.

Again there is great hope amongst Maori communities that things are looking up and that there's greater cohesion in our region.

However, the latest rants and raves in the news media about Maori repatriation of place names and protection of the environment from pakeha commentators demonstrates there's a lot of white anger which seems to border on hostility at times for Maori positive projects and proposals.

The hue and cry over the restoration of Ahuriri to the name Hawke's Bay Airport is an example. Also the iwi assertion of rights over water and other natural resources has been met with howls of derision by commentators who believe that only pakeha have exclusive rights to freshwater.

The repatriation of the Maori language, Maori art, Maori social structures and actions alongside Maori economic investment will boost the regional economy and the regional texture to levels never seen before.

The hand brake to this happening is white anger.

White anger is holding this region back against a backdrop of Maori hope and ambition for everyone.

It is fortunate that the huge bulk of Hawke's Bay community are fair-minded and willing to support and develop across all creeds and colours and we are willing to work closely too....

New lookout for Whangarei's Mt Parihaka summit
Local hapū have worked with the council to design a new lookout for Mount Parihaka to better reflect the cultural significance and importance of the area.

A new lookout is being built at the summit of Parihaka for visitors to enjoy the view, which includes a new ramp with palisade-like edges and a special kohatu (rock). It seems the old lookout didn't properly reflect the place's importance.

“This is an important place, but the old lookout hasn’t reflected that in a way that respects its mana. By working with the district’s hapū, we have achieved a design that will include a special kohatu, which will inspire a sense of gravity and significance to the lookout,” said Senior Landscape Architect Bruno Gilmour....

Te Mana o Ngati Rangitihi mandate recognised
Te Mana o Ngāti Rangitihi Trust (Te Mana) has today announced that the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations and Minister for Maori Development have recognised its mandate.

The iwi will now begin the process of direct negotiations with the Crown relating to the comprehensive settlement of all its historical Treaty of Waitangi grievances.....

Iwi disappointed at Maui gas field decision
South Taranaki iwi Ngaruahine is disappointed that a 35-year extension has been granted for the extraction of natural gas from the Maui gas field.

In its submissions to the authority, Ngaruahine said it would support the consents if they were granted for no longer than 15 years.

Ms Crowley said the iwi was keen for a reduced term and wanted more recognition of the cumulative impact of the gas extraction.

"We also wanted more understanding of the Māori view point and it is really refreshing to see the acknowledgement of that in the decision."

The decision also said Shell Todd had to consult iwi at least annually.

Ms Crowley said it was something both the iwi and Taranaki whānui would work together on to make sure it was a meaningful engagement....

Tainui calls Housing Minister Nick Smith to clarify right of first refusal position
Housing minister Nick Smith's interpretation on right of first refusal law in treaty settlements has disappointment Waikato iwi, who want an explanation.

The latest move, which came just days after Waikato-Tainui commemorated their historic treaty agreement with the Crown over the land confiscations of the 1800s, has put the relationship on shaky ground.

Smith's proposal to skirt around the right of first refusal (RFR) mechanism in Treaty of Waitangi settlements to sell 500 hectares of Auckland land for development was at odds with settlements, said Waikato Tainui executive chairman Rahui Papa....

Marlborough iwi leader takes on Whanau Ora role
A top of the South iwi leader has been appointed to the board of a Maori development organisation.

Te Runanga o Ngati Kuia vice chair Gena Moses-Te Kani has taken up a position with the board of Te Putahitanga o Te Waipounamu, the South Island Whanau Ora commissioning agency.

Moses-Te Kani, who lives in Hamilton but regularly travels back to Blenheim, said the role of the agency was to invest money from Te Puni Kokiri in whanau development.

"There's a range of ways that we support whanau self-determination," she said. "People say I've got this awesome idea and we have a coach work with them to develop that idea.....

Treaty advice for school trustees
Help is at hand for schools looking to improve relations with Maori employees.

The School Trustees Association and Post Primary Teachers Association have collaborated to revise the publication Guidelines to Assist Boards of Trustees to Meet their Good Employer Obligations to Maori.

There are some things Pakeha people and organisations tend to handle differently from Maori which can create misunderstanding and tension....

Kohanga keen to restart funding talks
A spokesperson for Te Kohanga Reo National Trust says the appointment of Kararaina Cribb as chief executive should pave the way from resumption of negotiations with the crown.

"Government was found to have been under-funding Kohanga, that this was detrimental to the kohanga reo and really it's time for the crown to stop mucking around and get back to the negotiating table. They are saying things like 'We want you to change your governance processes.' Well that is underway and anyway, how the trust governs itself it is really the trust's business," Mr Fox says. ...

Ngāi Tahu says their right of first refusal too has been breached many times
According to Ngāi Tahu, one of the country's first iwi to settle its Treaty claim, they've been wedged out of their right of first refusal (RFR) by the government a number of times.

Ngāi Tahu chairman, Sir Mark Solomon has also criticised Bill English's assertion that RFR needs to be further defined.

English explains the Budget and suggesting there be more explanation around rights of first refusal.

Ngāi Tahu says their right of first refusal have been breached many times by the Government. Solomon says that's not due to legal confusion on the part of iwi.....

Norway's biggest oil giant heeds Māori advice
The leader of a Far North delegation opposing oil exploration in Te Reinga Basin says some shareholders in Norway's biggest oil giant are backing its campaign to stop looking for oil in New Zealand waters...

Maori social service provider shut down
A Maori social service provider has shut its doors permanently, just days after the Ministry of Social Development launched an investigation into its affairs and issued it with a 60-day suspension notice.

The axe fell on Raukura Waikato Social Services - a registered charitable trust with offices in Hamilton, Huntly and Morrinsville - after a meeting with staff.

Raukura was an approved provider for the ministry but were told to stop work last Monday while police were brought in to investigate.

It had contracts to provide whanau support programmes, non-violence programmes, youth justice services and budgeting advice.

In the 2014/15 year, it was awarded $1.17 million worth of services in its Child Youth and Family section.

Collaboration promotes Treaty partnership in schools
Employer-union collaboration promotes Treaty partnership in schools

An updated publication, Guidelines to Assist Boards of Trustees to Meet their Good Employer Obligations to Māori is a great example of a collaborative approach paying dividends in the education sector, says NZSTA President Lorraine Kerr.....

City Maori prepare to fight for $20m fund
Willie Jackson says iwi leaders want to take control of money set aside for urban interests.

Urban Maori leaders are threatening legal action over what they say is an outrageous attempt by their iwi counterparts to take control of a $20 million fund set aside to serve the interests of Maori who have migrated from their ancestral lands and no longer have strong tribal links.

National Urban Maori Authority (Numa) chairman Willie Jackson has vowed to halt what he calls an "iwi cash grab" of the urban Maori fisheries fund (Te Puea Whakatupa).

Mr Jackson said he was appalled at a recommendation by a subcommittee of Te Ohu Kai Moana (TOKM) - the Maori Fisheries Trust - that iwi effectively take control of a fund set aside for urban Maori through the 2004 Maori Fisheries Act.....

Māori employees feel 'used' for cultural knowledge
A survey on Māori in the workforce has revealed that some feel they are exploited for their cultural knowledge and undervalued.

Raiha Hooker, a Masters student at Massey University, conducted an online survey and found many who responded had even been refused tangihanga, or bereavement leave.

The Ngāruahine woman wanted to find out how culturally responsive the working environments of Māori employees are and how well they acknowledged Māori values....

Rongoa Maori provides holistic approach
A new Maori health service is about more than just treating physical illnesses.

It's also a way to address spiritual ailments and connect urban Maori back to their roots, Te Whiu Isaac says.

But the service isn't exclusive to Maori, everyone is welcome.

Isaac, who lives in the Auckland suburb of Orakei, is one of two practitioners of Rongoa Maori (traditional Maori healing) to start operating at the Glen Innes Health Centre in East Auckland.

"Most Maori have been brought up in the city," Isaac says.

"Rongoa Maori helps them remember where they come from.

"Most of their sicknesses didn't start today, they go way back."

In Maori culture spiritual health comes first, he says. Then mental, physical and family health, followed by an awareness of how the other aspects of health relate to each other.

It's a holistic approach to health and is designed to compliment general medicine, Isaac says....

Good faith so far between Iwi and government
A lawyer has said the government is committed to a consultation process with Ngati Whatua to keep them in the loop about plans to develop crown land in Auckland.

The Iwi solicited legal advice when it looked like the housing minister might try and cut them out of the process by using a loophole in the treaty agreement that he said meant the crown didn't have to offer Iwi first right of refusal on the land if it was to be used for housing.

But Nga Manu Whenua o Tamaki Makaurau member and lawyer Paul Majurey points out there are also circumstances where this wouldn't be the case.

He reports there are some conditions under the Treaty Settlement Act that would give Ngati Whatua the right of first refusal to this land.

"This is all about the Crown honouring its settlement."

Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson isn't sure if there is an obligation under the Treaty, but said iwi have done a good job in the past.

He added that there is a clear need for social housing in Auckland....

$100,000 CNZ Fellowship awarded to Areta Wilkinson
Creative New Zealand’s $100,000 Craft/Object Fellowship has been awarded to Canterbury artist/jeweller Dr Areta Wilkinson (Ngai Tahu) for 2015.

Having recently completed a doctoral thesis examining concepts of taonga relevant to her own contemporary practice, Dr Wilkinson says the fellowship will enable her to “realise a body of work that synthesises the doctoral research.” Her project titled Hine-Āhua: Absences and Presences will use gold sourced from Te Tai Poutini (the West Coast) and Ōtakou (Otago) regions.

“Through a Maori lens, gold from Papatuanuku and Te Waipounamu has a mauri (a life essence) and I am interested to investigate how the precious metal and new forms will be further enhanced by Ngai Tahu narratives about gold,” Dr Wilkinson says....

Maori Television journalist Mihingarangi Forbes quits
Experienced Maori TV journalist Mihingarangi Forbes has announced her resignation.

In 2013 Native Affairs won a court battle allowing it to air its investigation, led by Forbes, into the Te Kohanga Reo Trust Board - a body of seven, life-term, board-appointed members - which runs the network of full-language-immersion early childhood education centres.

Native Affairs obtained credit card transaction details of board member Dame Iritana Tawhiwhirangi and her daughter-in-law Lynda Tawhiwhirangi, the general manager of the trust's charity-status subsidiary Te Pataka Ohanga.

The investigation led to Forbes being heavily criticised by some in the Maori community.

It is understood Forbes' resignation comes after Maori Television executives took exception to a new two-piece investigation following on from the Te Kohanga Reo story and which was due to begin on Monday.

Staff were told by chief executive Paora Maxwell that the investigation would not be running....

Te Ohu Kaimoana to be restructured as iwi takes control of AFL shares
Iwi have voted to keep Te Ohu Kaimoana, the Maori Fisheries Commission, while taking full control of Aotearoa Fisheries voting and income shares in a move which will see oversight of its $543 million in fishery assets restructured

Iwi have rejected dismantling the fisheries governing body while unanimously voting in favour of transferring all Aotearoa Fisheries voting and income shares to iwi control. Under the Maori Fisheries Act in 2004, TOKM was set up to manage the fishing quota awarded to Maori in the 1992 fisheries settlement....

Kāpiti coast iwi and council to co-manage water project
Te Ātiawa and the Kāpiti District Council have signed an agreement to work in partnership on water and its management in the rohe.

The Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai Water Working Group will now work with the council to explore how to manage water in a culturally appropriate way within the Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Raumati catchment.

The iwi and the council recently launched the 'River Recharge Scheme', which uses traditional Māori scientific knowledge to oxygenate the river with tuna, or eels.

The chair of the working group, Bill Carter, said it confirmed the important role iwi played as kaitiaki of natural resources.

"We saw there was a position as Treaty partners for the three [local iwi] of us having a joint responsibility," Mr Carter said....

Plan to raise Maori literacy, numeracy
A Māori educationalist says Māori without basic literacy and numeracy skills have nothing to be ashamed of, but must seek help which is readily available.

50 percent of Māori adults are below the world minimum standard.

Keith Ikin from the New Zealand Council for Educational Research is working on a national plan to raise their literacy and numeracy standards by 20 percent in five years.

He said it was not just holding tāngata whenua adults back, but damaging whānau and the country's economic future.

Mr Ikin described it as a devastating cycle, and said that within the next 15 years Māori will make up almost 20 percent of the workforce.

Iwi calls urgent meeting over Crown land sell-off
The Government and Auckland Maori are headed for a legal clash over plans to sell public land to developers to help ease the housing crisis.

Ngati Whatua has called in lawyers because it thought it would be given first rights to buy the land under its treaty settlement, but the Government is using a workaround, meaning it can sell the land straight to developers.

"We're taking legal advice to see if our Treaty settlement has been circumvented," says Ngati Whatua deputy chairman Ngarimu Blair.

The iwi has now asked for an urgent meeting with the Government for them to explain the situation.....

Government's Auckland housing plan could be in jeopardy over iwi legal skirmish
The Government's latest plan to increase housing supply in Auckland is facing a legal challenge from iwi who say they should be offered Crown land before it is sold to developers.

Ngāti Whātua thought it would be given first right of refusal to Crown land up for grabs in Auckland. The Government announced as part of the Budget that 500 hectares of public land would be sold.

Labour's housing spokesman Phil Twyford questioned why Housing Minister Nick Smith was going to such great lengths to cut out iwi, who were being "circumvented" on right of first refusal.

"Ngati Whatua simply want to build affordable houses for the people of Auckland, so why is he trying to cut them out of the deal?"

However Smith told the Social Services select committee there was no right of first refusal for Ngāti Whātua under its Treaty settlement agreement, but there was one for the Tamaki Collective, which Ngāti Whātua is an active and prominent member of....

Māori Party backs Ngāti Whātua
The Māori Party is calling on the Government to honour its Treaty of Waitangi settlement with local iwi, Ngāti Whātua

The iwi has sought legal advice after learning that the Government has no intention of dealing with Ngāti Whātua first over the sale of government owned land in Auckland.....

Mayor believes it is time for a change of name
Mayor Annette Main believes the time is right to add the "H" to Wanganui.

Following the announcement last week that the New Zealand Geographic Board had opened consultation on a name change for the district, Ms Main said the "Whanganui" spelling had become much more common in recent times.

The Geographic Board's public consultation will last three months from May 28.

After an initial rejection by Wanganui District Council of a name change, the council finally proposed changing the name of the district to Whanganui by a vote of 10-3 in December.

It then conducted its own consultation and received close to 2000 submissions.

Ms Main said the Geographic Board consultation was "an opportunity for our community, as well as people throughout New Zealand, to have their say.

The Geographic Board has said it is interested in reasons provided with submissions, not necessarily submission numbers; the process is not a vote. Following consultation, submissions will be analysed and considered when the board meets on September 23.

Ms Main said the outcome would "provide certainty" to iwi and Wanganui residents. The council proposal followed a request from the Tupoho Working Party to consider changing the spelling....

Possible Mana Maori unification
With the recent uncertainty of the Kaitoko Whānau contracts the Mana Movement and Maori Party membership cooperated to advocate for their contracts. These events lead to historical hui between members of each organisation who decided to sit down to a cup of tea and macaroon biscuits...

Maori challenge permits
A Northland roopu have filed a claim with the Waitangi Tribunal saying the Government should have sought consent of local iwi and hapu before issuing deep sea oil drilling permits in the Te Reinga Basin.

Te Ahipara Komiti Takutaimoana, who are the marae and hapu mandated group from Te Rarawa managing marine environment issues, filed the claim on May 22.

The claim alleged the Government breached the Treaty of Waitangi by not consulting Maori rights holders before permits to oil drill in the Te Reinga Basin were issued.

Ms Murupaenga-Ikenn said it was vital the claim be lodged to protect the ocean.

"This whole beach is sacred. It's a pathway of spirits. I hate the words 'Maori myths and legends' because this is what I truly believe, that one day my spirit will travel along there and I will look back."...

Younger generation losing te reo Māori
Fewer young Māori are speaking te reo – fuelling fears for the language’s survival.

The number of te reo Māori speakers in the generation vital to keeping the language alive has fallen in the seven years between Census counts.

According to Statistics NZ the December 2013 Census, revealed 23.3 percent of Māori aged 15 to 29 can hold a conversation in te reo Māori.

This is an 8.2 percent decrease from the 2006 Census.....

No free state houses for iwi - English
The Government says while it welcomes the interest of iwi in social housing, it won't be giving them state houses for free as one group wants.

Mr English dismissed the proposal for transferring the houses for free, but said some properties might have little value anyway.

"No, we'll go through a proper process. There may be some which have no value – if you're in a small town with a house that's been a P lab, it might be a wee bit hard to get rid of.

The Government does not want to sell the houses below market value.

Water waste of time and money
But watch. There's a consent to be obtained. This will take years and cost millions. The usual suspects will object. There will be cultural values affected and to be compensated for. There might even be a taniwha or two lurking about who needs soothing.....

Co-Leader James Shaw voices priorities
New Green Party co-leader James Shaw spoke for the first time at the Green Party AGM in Auckland today.

He spoke about climate change and his wish to have more Māori candidates in the party.

Mr Shaw says, “So one of the things we need to do more of is to ensure that we have more Māori candidates especially in places like South Auckland and in the Māori seats to get really good coverage.”...

Treaty involvement brings satisfaction
John Wood's negotiating skills, honed as New Zealand's ambassador to the United States, Iran and Turkey, have since been put to use as chief Crown negotiator in several outstanding Treaty of Waitangi claims.

He was first appointed chief Crown negotiator for the Whanganui River claim in 2009, then in the Te Urewera claim with Tuhoe and is involved in a claim involving Tongariro National Park and a smaller one with Ngati Rangi which has a bearing on the former.

Wood, who has no Maori background or previous involvement, garnered considerable international experience as a trade and economic negotiator during his time in the diplomatic service. He looks on his treaty experience with satisfaction, particularly that involving Tuhoe.

"It had been tried so many times in the past, to effect reconciliation between the Crown and Tuhoe, and failed. This time we achieved it, and that by any measure is nationally significant," he said....

'State housing should be transferred to iwi for free'
A representative of the Iwi Chairs Forum said this morning that iwi should have state houses transferred to them for free.

Te Runanga o Te Rarawa chairman Haami Piripi made the comments on TV3's The Nation this morning.

Many of the houses were "at the very low end of the spectrum in terms of the Government housing portfolio," he said.

He said social housing was part of "post-modern capitalism" and he had concerns that if the market crashed and the value of houses went down, iwi would make a "significant loss".

"Our starting point is they have no value," he said, as there would be an ongoing obligation to support the families who lived in them...

Iwi relations spending fires council debate
Lack of clarity around what the funding will be used for is why four Wanganui District councillors tried to vote down extra spending on iwi relations.

The quartet made their points clear when the council debated its 2015-25 10-Year Plan last week but did not get the support of their colleagues.

The vote approved spending $150,000 a year for the next decade on iwi relations with the dissenters including councillors Philippa Baker-Hogan, Charlie Anderson, Rob Vinsen and Ray Stevens.

The potential for business partnerships with local iwi is a prime motive behind the increase.

Mr Stevens said the increasing money for liaison could easily reach $2.6 million over the next decade by his reckoning.

"We've just voted to add $150,000 a year for the next 10 years for iwi relations so there's $1.5 million. We're already budgeting $60,000 a year for iwi liaison.

"There's another $600,000. And we have to consider officer time during this period which I believe could conservatively total another $500,000," he said.

Mr Anderson said he believed the amount was too much and unnecessary.

"There's been nothing specific to say what the money's being used for.

"It seems we only have to pay when we liaise with iwi. To anybody else we do this for free," he said

Golf course in hands of iwi trust
Hamurana Springs Golf Club has come under the governance of a Ngati Rangiwewehi trust.

Te Tahuhu o Tawakeheimoa Trust will take over the running and maintenance of the club, which has a membership of nearly 200 people - many of whom are descendants of the iwi, club president Colin Watkins says.

Hamurana Springs was returned to Ngati Rangiwewehi as part of a multi-million-dollar Treaty of Waitangi settlement last year. The iwi-led changes have included international tour groups being charged $10 a head to visit the springs....

Grounds for an appeal granted to iwi
A Bay of Plenty iwi has been given leave to go to the Supreme Court in its bid to stop the sale of farmland by Landcorp.

The Crown-owned company wants to sell Wharere Farms near Pukehina. Ngāti Whakahemo has opposed the sale for some time and went to the High Court.

The court granted an interim injunction, but this was dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

The Supreme Court put the sale on hold while it decided if it wanted to hear an appeal.

It has now given the green light, and will allow an appeal based on the iwi's claim of bad faith shown by Landcorp.....

More support needed for Maori workers, says CTU
A leading Māori trade unionist wants Māori-owned companies to support the lower paid more, because those workers are predominantly Māori.

Syd Keepa, who is Vice-President Māori of the Council of Trade Unions, said successful Māori-owned commercial enterprises, both private and iwi-lead, have economic clout, and they can do something to assist lower paid Māori....

Crown researchers reach out to Maori
Crown research institutes are looking for better ways to engage with leading figures in the Maori economy.

The seven CRIs and Callaghan Innovation are coming together for a two day symposium in Rotorua next month, Te Ara Putaiao.

Organising committee chair Marino Tahi says Maori have a strong and active presence in New Zealand’s primary industries....

NGO's under attack
A Maori manager at Relationships Aotearoa says non-government providers are under attack, especially those who work with the most vulnerable in society.

The government has refused to give further funding to the organisation, which had contacts from the Ministry of Social Development, Justice and the Probation Service to deal with issues like domestic and sexual violence and drug and alcohol abuse...

AFFCO demands an attack on Maori
The Council of Trade Unions runanga is describing the Talley Group’s demands for its AFFCO meatworks as kick in the face for Maori workers and their communities.

CTU vice president Maori Syd Keepa says the 2012 lock-out was only settled after the intervention of iwi leaders, and now Talley’s is back to its union-busting tactics...

175 years on – Treaty of Waitangi now and in future?
The re-emergence of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1970s at a tumultuous period in New Zealand’s history – and its subsequent impact on New Zealand society – is the theme of an upcoming conference.

Scholars, policy makers and iwi leaders will mark the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty by sharing their views on its role in shaping the last half century and its place in the future, at a major conference organised by Massey University and Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Titled The Treaty on the Ground: Dialogue and Difference. Crisis and Response, the three-day conference at Auckland Museum and Massey’s Auckland campus in July will focus on how evolving interpretations of the Treaty have influenced New Zealand policy-making, institutions and communities....

Margaret Kawharu (Ngāti Whātua), senior Māori advisor at Massey University and one of the presenters, says she is interested in the effect of “Treaty fatigue or complacency.”

“The risk is that once settlements are completed, everything returns to ‘normal’, without any real paradigm shift, and grievances are just as likely to continue. This is due in part to settlement negotiations being often behind closed doors and the general public don’t get to hear the rich tapestry of narratives from both Māori claimants and the Crown representatives.”

Roy Clare, Director of Auckland War Memorial Museum says the Treaty “has been a feature of work at Auckland Museum since our founding in 1852, but for a large part of that history the interactions did not properly respect the partnership....

Māori name proposed for Wellington lagoon
The New Zealand Geographic Board Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa (NZGB) is calling on New Zealanders – particularly Wellingtonians – to have their say on a new proposal to assign a Māori name to Wellington’s popular inner-city lagoon.

The Wellington City Council (WCC) and Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust (PNBST) joint proposal seeks to assign the name ‘Whairepo Lagoon’ to what is commonly called ‘Frank Kitts Lagoon’, ‘Frank Kitts Park Lagoon’ and ‘The Lagoon’.

Public consultation will be open for three months, from 28 May-28 August. Anyone can make a submission either in support of, or objecting to, these proposals.

Submissions can be made in writing to the Secretary for the New Zealand Geographic Board, via the online forms, or to nzgbsubmissions@linz.govt.nz.

NZTA selling 31 state houses
The homes are also being offered to iwi under the Tamaki Collective settlement. Ngati Whatua Whai Rawa chief executive Rob Hutchison said his iwi had not bought any yet but was interested in any state properties that came up for sale in Auckland. It was negotiating to buy one property from the Transport Agency in Phyllis St in Mt Albert, which was in private ownership before being taken for the motorway.

"They don't give them to us. They are valued, so what happens is an offer is made at a price and then there are a number of different iwi across three different roopu [tribal territories] so we each have a turn in a carousel system," Mr Hutchison said....

Iwi partnership applauded
Rotorua Lakes Council's decision to adopt a modified version of the Te Arawa Partnership Proposal has been applauded by the Race Relations Commissioner and the mayor of New Plymouth, and has appeased the chairwoman of the Rotorua Pro-Democracy Society.

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd said the decision would affect local government all over the country.

"Firstly, I congratulate Steve [Chadwick] and her council, they have picked up the baton and lead the country.

"This question will now ripple through the country. Others will follow, the conversation is just beginning."

Rotorua Pro-Democracy Society chairwoman and councillor Glenys Searancke said she was pleased with Tuesday's result.

"I wasn't surprised at the vote, we didn't think for one moment that the vote would change. We'll just wait and see. It could work."

She said the society had been misconstrued as being racist.

"I think that some of the debate was a bit vicious because this has never been a racism thing, it's the democratic process we stand for.

"It's the appointment that has always been our concern."

Mrs Searancke said the society was "taking a breath" and confirmed legal action could be on the cards.

"I think it's something that has concerned the community more than I've known before in all my time with council, so I don't think it's finished for one minute," she said....

NZ Māori Tourism Confirms Two New Board Members
The Board of New Zealand Māori Tourism confirmed two new Board Members at its quarterly meeting today, says New Zealand Māori Tourism Chief Executive Pania Tyson-Nathan.

Verity Webber and Glen Katu were both successfully voted into the two vacant positions by the NZ Māori Tourism membership. The vacancies became available through the term expiry on 30 June 2015 of Glen Katu (who was nominated for re-election) and Amokura Panoho. NZ Māori Tourism was delighted with the very high calibre of candidates vying for the positions....

New kura aims for 180-kid capacity
A new Maori education centre planned for the site of Havelock North's Arataki Motor Camp will cater for up to 180 students, the Ministry of Education says.

The kura kaupapa will be open to students from Year 1 through to Year 13 if an application from an existing Hastings primary school to expand into secondary education is approved.

Plans for the Arataki site, which the ministry has owned for several years, have been the subject of speculation and political debate since a government announcement last month that a new kura was planned for Hastings....

HRC welcomes Rotorua partnership model decision
Race Relations Commissioner Susan Devoy has welcomed news that Rotorua District Council has agreed to a modified version of the Te Arawa Partnership model.

"Relationships are about working with one another through the good times as well as the tough times, the Te Arawa Partnership model formalises our relationship in Rotorua."

Dame Susan says the Treaty of Waitangi is something all New Zealanders should be grateful for.

"175 years ago our ancestors agreed that all New Zealanders had rights and in 1840 that was a pretty revolutionary concept," said Dame Susan.

"The Treaty is our own, uniquely Kiwi human rights document and we should all be pretty proud that this is what our nation is founded on."...

Consultation hui on Maori land law announced
Changes that make it easier for Maori land owners to use and develop their whenua will be the focus of discussions at 23 regional consultation hui announced today by Maori Development Minister, Hon Te Ururoa Flavell.

The review of Te Ture Whenua Maori Act 1993 is part of a Maori land reform programme which also includes offering practical support for Maori land owners. A new $12.8 million Te Ture Whenua Maori Network was announced in the Budget last week. This network will support targeted initiatives to improve the productivity of Maori land over the next four years...

More work needed on Te Arawa model
Rotorua Lakes Council has asked the Te Arawa working party to continue working with it and the iwi on new partnership arrangements.

The council yesterday voted 8-5 to allow Te Arawa representatives on two key committees with voting rights.

The council will spend up to $250,000 a year supporting the independent Te Arawa Board that will make the appointments.

She says the community has come of age, and what is good for Te Arawa is good for Maori and for all the citizens of Rotorua.

Māori to discuss interaction with oil industry
Nga Pae o te Maramatanga lead researcher Andrew Erueti will be presenting at a seminar today looking at the complex issue of Māori interaction with the extractive and mining sector.

The research centre will be holding its third 'Horizons of Insight' seminar for 2015 at Waipapa Marae, University of Auckland.

The government is strongly supportive of investment in this sector, however, there have been high profile demonstrations against exploration and mining by environmental and iwi/hapū groups who are deeply opposed to these companies mining within their lands and rohe. It is also clear that some iwi have been trying to work with the industry, and in some cases have sought a treaty interest in the resource...

Land sell off sign of panic
Labour leader Andrew Little says the Government's plan to sell surplus land in Auckland for housing is a panicked response to the crisis.

Labour claims that much of the 430 hectares promised in the budget already contains facilities such as electricity substations and pylons, or is landbanked for schools or motorways.

Mr Little says there are also rights of first refusal under Treaty of Waitangi settlements that will need to be factored in to any sell-off...

Maori Party Labels One Man, One Vote Supporters as Racist
The Maori Party’s approach of bullying and intimidation against those who have stood up for one person, one vote, in Rotorua, is a dishonourable act by Members of Parliament that should know better. Democracy Action, a pressure group which champions democratic values is calling-out Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell for his intimidatory comments regarding the Rotorua District Council vote to accept unelected members onto Council committees.

Democracy Action Chairman Lee Short says:

“We all accept that reasonable people can have differing views on race-based appointments onto local councils, but for a Government Minister to label those who stand for democracy as ‘racist’ is frankly outrageous.”

“We call on Mr Flavell to withdraw his offensive remarks. Bullying and intimidation have no place in democratic debate."

“The Rotorua Council should have conducted a referendum on this issue. For a constitutional change such as this, the consent of all the citizens needs to be sought."

Rotorua District Council leads the way on Māori representation
“Racism has been defeated by fairness, justice and reason today,” said Māori Party co-leader and Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell in response to Te Arawa winning their battle for better local government representation.

The Rotorua District Council has voted to accept a modified version of the Te Arawa Partnership Model today after receiving more than 1800 submissions on the issue. This will ensure that a Te Arawa representative will be on all standing committees.

“The leadership shown by Te Arawa and the Rotorua District Council today is an example of what can be achieved if justice is at the forefront of our decisions. Let me be clear – the option agreed today is an alternative to the unjust legislation that makes it almost impossible for Māori wards to be established,” says Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox...

Te Arawa partnership plan passed
Rotorua Lakes Council has voted 8-5 to adopt a partnership model proposed by Te Arawa.

Māori Education Trust back in hot water
The Māori Education Trust has landed itself in hot water again with iwi after selling off another block of gifted land to clear its debt, this time with South Waikato iwi, Ngāti Maniapoto.

Since Native Affairs revealed in a story last month that a prime dairy farm in the Wairarapa was being sold off by the trust for similar purposes, locals of Ngāti Maniapoto have spoken out.

Ouruwhero is a multi-million dollar dairy farm in South Waikato. A 120ha block which was gifted to the Māori Education Trust by local kuia Mihikiteao Thomson in her will to "train young Māori farmers".

But that dream is no longer after the Trust got into financial difficulties forcing them to sell the farm. They called in Māori farm specialist, Te Tumu Paeroa to revive it, and after they did that, they brought it for $5mil...

'Stronger whanau' should be focus to alleviate poverty
The head of a Maori health provider says the Government needs to place more emphasis on building stronger families.

Tureiti Moxon, from Te Kohao Health at Kirikiriroa Marae in Hamilton, said that while initiatives in last week's budget were a good start to alleviate poverty, much more needed to be done.

She said whānau was the corner-stone of Māori society and it needed more support.

Ms Moxon said while sending people out to work was the ideal, babies needed their parents to look after them....

Commemorations 'help nations grow'
Last year during the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Ōrākau, Otorohanga High School launched a petition calling for the Government to establish a commemorative day for the country to remember local civil battles.

Waikato-Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan supported them.

Māori historian Awanuiarangi Black said Aotearoa needed to acknowledge what had happened on its own soil and mark its battles.

The Prime Minister's office said John Key had not ruled out the possibility of a holiday to mark the New Zealand Wars, but it was not under active consideration.

Last year Mr Key said if National was still in Government after the September elections, his party would consider it.....

Parliament workload 'lightest for 20 years'
He said Treaty of Waitangi Settlement bills were now passing through the House much more "expeditiously" than in the past, because they did not face long committee stages.

"That's taken a terrific amount of work out of what any order paper might look like."

Waikato-Tainui support Te Arawa's call for Māori wards
Waikato-Tainui gathered at Tāheke Marae in Rotorua for the annual Te Arawa poukai celebration. For over 22 years, Te Arawa has been pushing for a Māori voice at local government level.

Mauriora Kingi says, “Te Arawa Standing Committee was established in 1993 to discuss and manage issues pertaining to Te Arawa. 20 years has passed and the standing committee hasn't made much inroads.”

Over the weekend the topic of Maori representation in local government re-emerged with strong support by some Waikato-Tainui leaders, according to Tipa Mahuta, “Rotorua is known worldwide as a face for Māoridom but says the community of Rotorua need to work with the Māori of Rotorua first.”

The Te Arawa Partnership was proposed to establish an independent Te Arawa Board sitting outside of the council, to represent iwi interests, with board members elected by the Te Arawa community....

Progress too slow - 2015 Treaty Audit of Auckland Council
A major finding of the second Te Tiriti o Waitangi audit on the wider Auckland Council group shows only a few of the 42 audited recommendations are completed. The audit findings were presented to the Mayor and Councillors during an Auckland Council Finance and Performance committee meeting yesterday.

The Board’s follow-up Te Tiriti o Waitangi audit on Auckland Council, Local Boards and Council-controlled organisations has been completed by global service providers, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The audit reassesses the wider council’s performance against high priority legislative requirements relating to Māori and provides insight into progress made against the 2012 baseline audit....

Hapu group will continue opposition
A Northland group which opposes an agreement between the Crown and Ngāpuhi says it will continue its stand until the bitter end.

The Tūhoronuku Independent Mandated Authority, which represents Ngāpuhi and its numerous hapū, has signed terms of negotiation with the Crown, meaning the parties can begin work on the iwi's Treaty claims and start full negotiations.

Pita Tipene, co-chair of Te Kōtahitanga o ngā hapū o Ngāpuhi, said there were still outstanding issues involving the Waitangi Tribunal inquiry into the Crown's decision to recognise Tūhoronuku's mandate....

Judd and Fox presenting at Māori Governance Hui
New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd and Māori Party Co-leader Marama Fox are the latest to join an exciting line up of speakers and presenters attending this weekend’s Te Tatau Pounamu Maori Governance and Representation Conference in Palmerston North.

New Plymouth has been in the headlines recently for the overwhelming vote against Maori Wards in the region. Mayor Andrew Judd has also made known his own principled stand to lay a complaint with the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues for an issue he believes is fundamentally unfair.

This weekend’s speakers include: Joris De Bres (Former Human Rights Commissioner), Doug Leeder (Chair of the Eastern Bay of Plenty Council) Moana Jackson (Indigenous Rights Advocate and Lawyer), Tipa Mahuta, (Councillor Waikato Regional Council), Teanau Tuiono (Activist and Entrepreneur), Dr Whatarangi Winiata, Te Rangikaheke Bidois (Te Arawa Councillor), Melanie Shadbolt (Lincoln University Researcher and Te Waipounamu District Maori Council Chair) Veronica Tawhai (Massey University Lecturer), Mike Reid (Local Government NZ) Tame Te Rangi (Ngati Whatua and Tuhoronuku Representative) Haami Piripi.(Te Runanga o Te Rarawa Chairman)....

Waitangi Tribunal legal action aims to stop Statoil
A new Waitangi Tribunal claim is alleging breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi due to the New Zealand Government’s failure to actively seek the prior and informed consent of Maori tribes in relation to the issuing of deep sea oil drilling permits.

Filed today, the legal action is being taken by Te Ahipara Komiti Takutaimoana, who are the marae and hapū mandated tribal organisation that manage all issues concerning the marine environment for Te Rarawa.

Te Rarawa is one of the Far North iwi that strongly opposes the current deep sea oil exploration in Te Reinga Basin by Statoil, Norway's biggest company.

The claim also alleges breaches of Te Tiriti o Waitangi by the New Zealand Government due to failing in the duty of the correct consultation process with Maori rights holders....

$500k boost for new centre
Te Kaika spokesman Prof Peter Crampton - also dean of the Otago Medical School - said the new initiative was being driven by local iwi Kati Huirapa Runaka ki Puketeraki and Te Runaka o Otakou.

''It is iwi-owned and has a focus on Maori health but it is much broader than that, so Pacific families and, well, anybody [is covered]. ...

Iwi positions mooted for New Plymouth District Council committees
A Maori leader is calling for New Plymouth's council to reconsider appointing iwi representatives to influential standing committees.

In the wake of an overwhelming referendum result against a Maori ward seat, Te Atiawa iwi representative Peter Moeahu asked the council to revisit a proposal it voted down in April last year.

However, Mayor Andrew Judd has said there are no immediate plans to revisit the idea and the council needs to process the results of the referendum first.

"Now I'm (Moeahu) back again to ask that this council consider the appointment of iwi representatives on council standing committees, not on the council itself."

Judd said the idea of having iwi representatives appointed to standing committees had already been voted down by the council, but he could not rule out revisiting it....

Iwi eyes Budget housing opportunity
Ngati Whatua o Orakei is keen to talk to the government about its plan to free up 430 hectares of Auckland land for housing development.

News of the plan leaked out on the eve of today's Budget when the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment posted tender documents on its web site.

Ngatu Whatua deputy chair Ngarimu Blair says the hapu was aware at a high level the plan was coming, but it doesn't know which particular blocks are involved.

Ngati Whatua and other Tamaki Makaurau iwi have rights of first refusal covering specified crown agencies.

"Certain ones like New Zealand Transport Authority surplus land, surplus education, district health board and defence land, we would be keen to discuss with the Crown any ideas it has about declaring that surplus and how we will be a part of those negotiations," Mr Blair says.....

Waikato-Tainui signing 20 years on
Today marks 20 years since Waikato-Tainui signed the first major settlement of historical land confiscation (raupatu) with the Crown.

Signed by then-Prime Minister Jim Bolger and the late Maori Queen Dame Te Atairangikaahu, Waikato-Tainui's confiscation claims were settled with a package worth $170 million, in a mixture of cash and Crown-owned land.

That package is now worth over $1 billion and the iwi is an economic powerhouse in the region....

Only Maori to represent Maori says Fox
The Maori Party is upset its former chief of staff is being held up by Social Development Minister Anne Tolley as representing Maori on a panel reviewing Child, Youth and Family.

Co-leader Marama Fox says she's pleased Helen Leahy, who now works as an advisor for Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, was selected for the group.

But she has told Mrs Tolley the panel also needs Maori and social work expertise...

Māori Health & Social Services Delegation travels to the US
Te Arawa Whānau Ora Chief Executive Officer, Ngaroma Grant was part of a high level Māori delegation that traveled to the US to gain first hand knowledge of how developing technologies in the Health and Social Service sectors might benefit whānau.

The group headed to California, Nevada, Arizona and Washington state in April to both share innovative and transformative practices and tools being used in Aotearoa and to learn about what is happening within indigenous communities in the US.

As a result relationships were built with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Services, the City of Los Angeles and a number of community leaders.

In addition the delegation received a briefing with Microsoft executives in Redmond, Washington and made a presentation at the Self-Governance Tribal Annual Consultation Conference in Reno, Nevada.

Also part of the delegation were Waipareira CEO, Hon John Tamihere,Te Pou Matakana Chair, Merepeka Raukawa-Tait, New Zealander of the Year Dr Lance O’Sullivan as well as Lady Tureiti Moxon in a 20 strong Māori Health and Social Services delegation to the US.....

Terms of Negotiation signed with Ngāpuhi
The Crown and the country's largest iwi are just one step away from settling its Treaty of Waitangi claims.

The Tūhoronuku Independent Mandated Authority, which represents Ngāpuhi and its numerous hapū, have signed the terms of negotiation with the Crown.

Tūhoronuku described it as a celebratory moment for the iwi as it was eight years ago when tribal elders directed the iwi to 'get on with the settlement'.....

22/5/15 Maori Budget
$35.3m invested to improve Māori housing
Māori Development Minister, Te Ururoa Flavell says Budget 2015 provides operating funding of $35.3 million over the next four years to improve housing outcomes for whānau Māori.

This will provide practical assistance to whānau and Māori housing projects and will be coordinated through the establishment of a Māori Housing Network.

$5.7 million a year is set aside for the Māori Housing Network. This will fund regional housing development facilities that will provide practical assistance and expertise at a local level. The funding will also be used to address housing deprivation among whānau Māori.....

$2.1m for rangatahi Māori suicide prevention
The Budget provides $2.1 million of new operating funding for rangatahi Māori suicide prevention, Māori Development Minister Hon Te Ururoa Flavell says.

“It recognises the need within Māori communities to address the high rate of suicide among our rangatahi and to reduce its tragic consequences,” he says.

“The causes of youth suicide are complex and varied. This fund will contribute towards taking a Whānau Ora approach to reducing youth suicide.”....

$12.8m for new Te Ture Whenua Māori Network
The new Te Ture Whenua Māori Network, which will help Māori land owners improve the productivity of their land, will be supported by $12.8 million in the Budget, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says.

The network complements the current reform of the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act.

“Significant tracts of Māori land remain under-utilised and improving its performance and productivity will provide benefits to its owners and the wider New Zealand economy,” Mr Flavell says....

Whānau Ora navigators to receive $49.8m boost
Whānau Ora Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says new operating funding of $49.8 million over the next four years will further support Whānau Ora navigators to work with families.

The new funding will allow the continuation of Whānau Ora navigators, who play a critical role in Whānau Ora. Flavell says, "They act as brokers for the whānau and support them to achieve their goals...

Supercity needs to include tribal rohe
A Wellington mana whenua leader says tribal boundaries have not been adequately considered in the proposal for a supercity council.

The Local Government Commission's plan to create one single authority that amalgamates nine councils in the greater Wellington region has divided the Māori community, with leaders in support, but rank and file Māori opposing it.

As the plans for a Wellington supercity council get underway, the mana whenua of Te Whanganui-ā-Tara, Te Ātiawa, are cautiously considering the benefits before they endorse them.

The chair of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust said the first thing that the Local Government Commission should think about is the importance of tribal rohe.....

$244 million funding boost includes establishment of 3 new kura kaupapa
Three new kura kaupapa are on the cards under the announcement of $244 million in funding that will go towards new schools, additional classrooms and expansions to existing schools.

The kura kaupapa will be established in Whakatane, Gisborne and Hastings.

Education Minister, Hekia Parata says, “funding spread over four years, demonstrates the government’s commitment to ensuring all kids can do their very best at school. It will be used to build seven new schools, expand four existing schools and add another 241 classrooms across the country.”

However Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis wants confirmation from Government that kura kaupapa will receive the same funding as mainstream schools in this year's budget....

Dismay at lack of Maori on CYF review panel
The Government is excluding Māori from an expert panel set up to review Child, Youth and Family, the Whānau Ora iwi leaders group chair says.

There are six iwi representatives in the group as well as ministerial staff.

Chairperson Raniera (Sonny) Tau said he had written to Social Development Minister Anne Tolley to express the group's 'extreme concern' at the panel's make-up which appears to contain no Māori.

Iwi representatives in the group as well as Mr Tau are: Naida Glavish, Rahui Papa, Sir Mark Solomon, Dr Hope Tupara and Richard Steedman.

Mr Tau said he was appalled by the lack of Māori representation.....

Maori students' development plan underway at Witt in Taranaki
The Taranaki polytechnic has identified cultural barriers that may have prevented Maori learners from achieving and the institute is now working towards implementing a better support system for its students.

In 2014, Witt was found to have graduated students from two Maori performing arts courses which they probably did not attend and was forced to repay the Crown $3.7m as a result.

The Maori performing arts programmes are no longer offered....

Name change at airport wins council support
The Napier City Council has voted to support a request to rename the region's airport as Ahuriri Airport Hawke's Bay - with one councillor voicing his opposition to the proposal.

The airport company was approached with the name change request by Treaty of Waitangi claimant group Mana Ahuriri.

Richard McGrath was the only Napier City Council member to speak against the proposal at yesterday's meeting, saying there was "little to no public support" for the change....

Publication gives Maori voice
Hawke's Bay Today and Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated (NKII) have joined forces to produce a new monthly publication called Tihei Kahungunu.

Tihei Kahungunu will be a monthly insert in Hawke's Bay Today and aims to give Ngati Kahungunu and Maoridom in the region a voice.

Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana said that with 25 per cent of the Maori population identifying with Ngati Kahungunu, there was a great demand for such a publication....

Davis demands answers over new Kura Kaupapa
Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis wants confirmation from Government that kura kaupapa will receive the same funding as mainstream schools in this year's budget.

Education Minister Hekia Parata announced three new kura kaupapa to be built over four years in Gisborne, Whakatāne and Hastings, but Davis says the quality of those schools could be compromised.

He has extensive experience in the Education sector and Kelvin Davis wants answers.

"My question is, will Māori immersion schools be treated the same as mainstream schools? How much resources will be given them?".....

Lack of Maori Representation Concerns Iwi Chairs
Raniera T (Sonny) Tau; the Chairperson of Whānau Ora Iwi Leaders Group, has written to Hon Anne Tolley, expressing the concern of Iwi Chairs about the lack of Maori representation in the expert panel set up to review CYFS.

“At our recent hui at Whangaehu Marae (6 May) concerns were raised that it appeared Maori representation had been excluded from the Minister’s Expert Panel” said Mr Tau.

“And yet there is a disproportionately high number of Maori children who have been referred to youth justice facilities; to care and protection residences, or to the care of CYFS”.

“Maori have been saying for decades now, let us be the designer of our own solutions. It is somewhat confusing that a Government which has been bold enough to invest in Whānau Ora is unprepared to show that same test of faith in the care of our tamariki mokopuna”.....

'Corporate welfare at its very worst': Govt grant to iwi slammed by Taxpayers' Union
The Taxpayers' Union has slammed a $350,000 grant to a Rotorua iwi to build a spa complex as "corporate welfare at its very worst".

Prime Minister John Key today announced the grant to Pukeroa Lakefront Holdings Ltd, a commercial arm of Ngati Whakaue.

"This is taxpayer money going to build a spa in Rotorua. That's not innovation, it's corporate welfare at its very worst," says Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers' Union.

"The problem with these sorts of grants, is it allocates taxpayer money to the industries and regions favoured by politicians."....

New Māori business masters unveiled
A new Māori business masters programme is being planned for universities around the country.

University of Auckland Business School senior lecturer Chellie Spiller said consultation was underway to get the programme ready for launch, which will see universities co-deliver the programme titled the Masters of Māori and Indigenous business.

She said courses taught would focus on core areas of business but be infused with a kaupapa Māori focus....

Funding boost for Maunga Authority
Auckland's Maunga Authority says iwi are making progress in protecting their taonga - the city's tihi (summit) - after receiving a large funding boost.

The authority was established eight months ago, and its kaupapa is to protect the 14 Tūpuna Maunga affiliated with the 13 iwi in the rohe.

Auckland Council has allocated nearly $80 million to the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority for the next 10 years.

The authority's chair Paul Majurey said its first project was to ban vehicles at Maungawhau-Mount Eden's summit, other than those used by the disabled. It hopes to have the ban in place by the end of the year.....

Crown purchases significant battle site
The Crown has purchased one of the most significant battle sites of the New Zealand Wars, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson announced today.

“We are pleased we could purchase this very significant site which is of great historical and cultural importance to the iwi who fought at the Battle of Ōrākau,” Mr Finlayson said.

The Ōrākau property near Kihikihi, Te Awamutu, was likely the site of a major battle between Māori and the Crown in 1864. Māori sustained many casualties and the site is recorded as a wāhi tapu area....

Māori worldview key to success for whānau parenting
Today Superu is releasing What Works: Parenting programmes effective with whānau, a summary of the key findings from a Superu research report on effective parenting programmes published in April 2014.

In New Zealand, parenting programmes that have emerged from the Māori worldview are called kaupapa Māori programmes. Additionally there are Māori culturally adapted parenting programmes.

What Works: Parenting programmes effective with whānau finds that kaupapa Māori and culturally adapted parenting programmes are effective with whānau because they validate Māori knowledge, values, and practices. Both of these types of programmes support whānau through strengthening cultural identity and growing knowledge of traditional parenting practices. It is important that the culturally adapted programmes be validated by Māori.....

All-Pakeha CYFS review flawed
Manurewa MP Louisa Wall says a review of Child Youth and Family is fundamentally flawed because it does not include any Maori.

The review is chaired by former Commerce Commission head and includes police commissioner Mike Bush, the Social Development Ministry's chief science advisor Ritchie Poulton, former maori party chief of staff Helen Leahy and Duncan Dunlop, who heads a children's advocacy charity in Scotland.

Ms Wall says more than 2000 Maori children are in CYFS care, or 56 percent of the total.

That means an independent Maori perspective is critical to any reform.

Growing the Maori economy crucial
The recently released Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Strategy stresses the importance of growing the Maori economy and the contribution Maori can make to overall regional growth.

"We can bring assets and expertise to bear," said Te Ururoa Flavell, the Minister for Maori Development and Associate Minister for Economic Development, at the strategy's launch.

"There's a desire by Maori to move into new areas of commerce. I think the community has to recognise that we are big players - we don't want to just be sitting at the side."...

New Plymouth District councillors in dark over mayor Andrew Judd's UN complaint
New Plymouth councillors were kept in the dark about their mayor's plans to lay a formal complaint against the Government.

Mayor Andrew Judd's plan to lodge the formal complaint with the United Nations about the Government's "unfair" legislation for Maori wards was unknown by his peers until Saturday, when it was reported in the Taranaki Daily News.

Former mayor and current councillor Harry Duynhoven said Judd's move appeared to be a unilateral action and he was not aware of it until he read it in the paper on Saturday.

"I am sure that the council will wish to discuss this with the mayor and vice versa," he said.

However, many councillors said Judd had made it clear his complaint was not in his capacity as the mayor.....

Law change needed for local seats
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell is considering a private members bill to stop people using binding referendums to block Maori representation in local government.

Mr Flavell says the situation in New Plymouth, where 83 percent voted against the council’s plans to introduce a Maori ward, showed how unfair the current system is.

An attempt to give Te Arawa more say in the Rotorua Lakes Council is also having a rough ride.....

Mayor cries racism over referendum
New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd says a law which allowed his council’s decision on Maori wards to be overturned shows the government is not serious about giving Maori a voice in local government.

In a referendum, New Plymouth residents voted more than four to one against the move.

It's the only action a council takes that can be challenged through a publicly-initiated binding referendum.

"That to me says the government or the crown has never been serious about the option because at the very end, the majority can decide for the minority. That is racist and biased and just infuriates me so I am not letting that aspect lie," Mr Judd says.

He’s disappointed with the Prime Minister’s off-hand dismissal of the issue, and he is looking at raising a complaint with the United Nations about New Zealand’s compliance with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.......

NZ Maori Council pushing governance strategy
The New Zealand Maori Council wants to find ways for Maori to become more involved in governing their communities.

It has called a national conference in Palmerston North at the end of the month to look at strategies for Maori participation and representation at all levels of government in Aoteoaroa.

The hui will also consider the council’s relevance today and how it can work better not just with Maori committees but with urban and iwi authorities.

Meanwhile the revitalisation of the council continues, with a district Maori council covering Te Tau Ihu, the top of the South Island, holding its annual meeting over the weekend.

Having properly constituted Maori committees and district councils helps the national body as it pushes to resume oversight of the Maori wardens and to act as an advocate for Maori on issues that might fall outside the responsibilities of individual iwi.....

Treaty tutoring for migrant jobseekers
Facing questions about the Treaty of Waitangi at job interviews is driving new migrants to attend workshops on New Zealand's founding document.

Auckland Regional Migrant Services has been running Treaty workshops at its Three Kings premises since 2007, but has moved them to the central city because of the growing number of new migrants living in the CBD.

One of the primary reasons people wanted to learn about the history and meaning of the 1840 document was because they got asked about it when they applied for jobs, Migrant Services communications manager Chinwe Akomah said.

The seminars included role playing on how to handle such questions, she said.

She faced the situation herself at a job interview not long after she migrated from the UK.

"They just asked me, 'what is the Treaty of Waitangi?' I didn't really know how to respond....

Local iwi called upon to bless vandalised site at Papakura cemetery
Local iwi were called upon this morning to Papakura South Cemetery following the desecration of a number of children's graves over the weekend.

Manurewa kaumātua carried out a karakia at the site, where headstones and crosses have been removed and strewn all over the lawn when Auckland Council staff had made their discovery yesterday.

Auckland Cemeteries Manager Catherine Moore confirmed that karakia was held this morning for those on site but says there are plans to have another blessing ceremony later in the week...

Spotlight on human rights in NZ
The UN Committee Against Torture is calling on the Government to do more to uphold and protect the human rights of all people.

In a new report, the committee has welcomed some new measures taken in this country, such as the introduction of police safety orders and the Vulnerable Children Act.

Read the committee's concluding observations on New Zealand (PDF, 185KB)

But it has expressed concern at the over-representation of Maori in prisons, and the use of solitary confinement for mental health patients.....

Taranaki principals keen to change outcomes for Maori students
Taranaki schools are lining up to be a part of a collective championing Maori student achievement.

More than 60 principals from throughout New Zealand gathered at Owae Marae this week for the Te Arahou Maori Achievement CollaborativesNational Hui.

Maori Achievement Collaboratives (MACs), supported by the Ministry of Education, focus on working with principals to better meet the needs and improve achievement outcomes for Maori students.

The hui ran from Wednesday afternoon through to Friday and had a range of speakers discussing issues facing Maori students and how to better understand their different learning needs.....

Looking Māori means you are less likely to own your own home
A study on home ownership rates among Māori shows that looking stereotypically Māori means you are less likely to own your own home.

A study on home ownership rates among Māori shows that looking stereotypically Māori means you are less likely to own your own home.

The research, by Dr Carla Houkamau, a senior lecturer in Management and International Business at the University of Auckland Business School, and Associate Professor Chris Sibley of the University’s School of Psychology, is part of the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Survey (NZAVS).....

Court says taihoa on Landcorp farm sale
The Supreme Court has issued a injunction stopping Landcorp selling a Bay of Plenty farm until it has decided whether it will hear an appeal.

Ngati Whakahemo challenged the sale of the Wharere Farm near Te Puke because it had a treaty claim over the land and wanted the chance to make an offer for it.

The Court of Appeal last week overturned a High Court judgment in its favour, because it said Landcorp’s actions were not reviewable.

The state owned enterprise wanted to complete the sale to a third party by May 30.

The Supreme Court has given Ngati Whakahemo chair Mita Ririnui until tomorrow to file submissions, and if necessary there will be a hearing next week to determine whether the appeal can go ahead.....

Steps towards Treaty claim settlement
Ngāti Mutunga on the Chathams Islands has moved a step further to settling its Treaty of Waitangi claims.

After seeking the mandate from iwi members, it now has a Settlement Governance Group in place that has been recognised by the Crown.

Last year, the Ngāti Mutunga o Wharekauri Iwi Trust held wānanga to listen to kōrero around grievances and settlement expectations, and to get an idea of a timeframe to achieve its goal of reaching a mandate....

Water rights shipped overseas
An advisor to the Freshwater Iwi Leadership Group says it’s critical Maori interests in water are defined before they are lost.

The group is working with officials on a new management framework, and it has been consulting with iwi on what Maori rights and interests could look like within that.

Willie Te Aho says existing systems haven’t worked for Maori, with other groups getting priority access.

He says in the case of groups like the owners of Poroti Springs near Whangarei, a decision from the Native Land Court that they owned not only the land but the spring itself has been ignored in favour of the local council, irrigators and a private water bottling company.....

Unjust requirements on Māori wards
The Māori Party is disappointed but not surprised by the outcome of the referendum on the establishment of Māori wards for the New Plymouth District Council (NPDC).

An overwhelming number of voters said “no” to the establishment of one Māori ward for the northern Taranaki council.

Mrs Fox who participated in a debate on the establishment of a Māori ward for NPDC last year says the decision “shows the tyranny of the majority”.

“Where is the Treaty of Waitangi relationship reflected in local and central government? The provision for a Māori ward isn’t a perfect solution but at least it would guarantee an independent Māori voice at the table.”

GP Clinic launches traditional Māori healing service
A first for a Ngāti Whatua Health Clinic who now provide traditional Māori healing alongside mainstream medicines for the community of Glenn Innes.

The cultural context in which Māori deal with ill health and its impacts are addressed through Rākau Rongoā (native floral herbal preparations) Mirimiri (massage) and Karakia (prayer).

While in the next room, there will be mainstream GP clinical services, including Tamariki Ora (Children's services), Smoking Cessation and AgeCare services.

The aim of this partnership between Ngāti Whatua Ōrākei Health Services and the Ministry of Health is to deliver positive health outcomes to all whānau in the Glenn Innes and surrounding community....

New Plymouth voters reject Maori ward
New Plymouth voters have overwhelmingly rejected the introduction of a Maori ward in the district.

In a citizens-initiated referendum on the issue, 83 percent of those who voted were against the proposal.

A total of 56,250 people were eligible to vote with 45 percent doing so.

Mayor Andrew Judd, who championed a Maori Ward, said he was personally disappointed with the result and the poor turnout.

He said the council must now reconsider how to engage with Maori and enable their participation in decision-making, as it was required to do by law.

Hugh Johnson, who sponsored the petition forcing a referendum, said he was satisfied with the result which was more clear-cut than he expected.

"I think it's very good, we beat Northland, Northland was only 66 percent.

"So the voters are feeling like I do [in thinking] that people should only be elected to council on their own merit."

Board rejects proposal for Maori engagement
An offer of Maori input in local board decision-making has been turned down, leaving one board member "stunned" by the decision.

The Papakura Local Board has refused the help offered by a steering group designed to improve Maori engagement at the community level.

The group is made up of iwi representatives and intended to help the local board on Maori issues through a "collaborative approach".

Papakura Local Board chairman Bill McEntee says the Maori steering group's proposal was declined because it wasn't local enough.

But the board rejected the $8000 proposal which has already been accepted by Mangere-Otahuhu, Otara-Papatoetoe and Manurewa local boards.

She says the group is set up to provide "meaningful engagement" on a range of issues between local boards and mana whenua, including such things as environmental decisions, street names and even turning the soil at the start of new projects.

EIT Appoints First Emeritus Professor
A leading Māori educator and an academic of international standing, Dr Roger Maaka has been appointed EIT’s first emeritus professor.

The honour recognises Professor Maaka’s distinguished service as a research professor and former dean of EIT’s faculty of Māori studies, Te Ūranga Waka
Of Ngāti Kahungunu descent from Takapau, he attended Central Hawke’s Bay College before launching into a 20-year career in the New Zealand Army, which included tours of duty in Borneo, South Vietnam and Singapore.

Combining study with running a business he established in Christchurch, he gained a PhD in political science with a study of the tribe in 20th century Māori society.

Professor Maaka has published on treaty relationships, urban and tribal, social and economic development of Maori and other indigenous peoples and he is an authority on indigeneity as a global social movement....

Ngati Whakahemo to appeal Landcorp case
Bay of Plenty iwi Ngati Whakahemo is appealing a decision dismissing its challenge to the way Landcorp sold a dairy farm at Wharere.

The Court of Appeal this week ruled that High Court Justice Joe Williams had no basis to review Landcorp's decision to sell the farm, because neither the Minister for Treaty Settlements nor the shareholding Ministers in Landcorp had the power to intervene in the company's decision.

That's despite the Office of Treaty Settlements making a mistake when it advised Landcorp that Ngati Whakahemo's claims had been settled, so the farm was not needed for any future treaty settlement.

Costs were awarded against the iwi.

Ngati Whakahemo chair Mita Ririnui says the decision is disappointing, but is consistent with a trend where the Court of Appeal leaves the hard calls on treaty-related cases to the Supreme Court.

What is not consistent is the way the iwi was treated by the crown....

Māori representatives against oil exploration meet with Saami Parliament
Members of the Indigenous Saami Parliament have met with a group of Māori representatives from Northland carrying with them a message against oil-exploration at Te Reinga Basin.

A member of the Executive Council of Saami Parliament, Henrik Olsen and Political Adviser Runar Myrnes Balto were among the Saami representatives who met with the delegation earlier this week.

Hinekaa Mako says, “The meeting went really well, as the indigenous peoples of Norway the Sámi understand our concerns, they are considering ways to support us in the future.”...

Taranaki hapu heads to High Court over land claims
A South Taranaki hapu has headed to court in a bid to have its land rights and mana retained.

The Araukuku hapu, which falls within the domains of Ngaruahine and Ngati Ruanui iwi, lodged an application with the High Court at Wellington on Friday, after it was denied an urgent hearing about its claims by the Waitangi Tribunal last week. The hapu is seeking a High Court review of the decision.

The latest move is part of a long-running and complicated quest by the hapu to have its concerns addressed.

In 1995, Araukuku filed a Waitangi Tribunal claim in relation to land confiscated from it by the Crown in 1865. This includes the land block where the Stratford Power Station is located.

Despite its claim, known as Wai 552, being partially settled following Ngati Ruanui's treaty settlement in 2003, the hapu is now concerned about how Ngaruahine's settlement deal will impact on them once it is passed into legislation. The $67.5 million deal was formally signed in August last year....

Building gets council life line
A submission by Nga Ruahine asked Council to make a stronger recognition of a partnership with iwi in the long term plan and to commit to working with iwi to help inform policy and project development. Councillors agreed on the importance of growing relationships with iwi and instructed staff to begin work on a variety of consultations and representation conversations with all four local iwi....

Calls for tāngata whenua symbols in flag

A Māori artist is pushing for the National flag to display more symbols representing tāngata whenua.
His call comes as the government asks for submissions on a new flag design, and already there has been more than 130 submissions.

Paul Moon, who works in its Māori Studies Department, said some people would be happy to see even one Māori element used, while others worry that the meaning behind symbols, such as koru, will be lost.

However the Ngāi Tahu leader Sir Tipene O'Regan said he was not too fussed about changing the flag.

"It's a second order issue, the primary issue is that we consider and think about our constitution and what we are as a structure rather than these esoterical symbols like flags."

Maori land eyed for BOP growth agenda
Maori forestry land and aquaculture space have been indentified as being key to further economic growth in the Bay of Plenty.

A regional growth study put together by the Ministries of Business, Innovation and Employment and Primary Industries in partnership with the Bay of Plenty Regional Council was released in Tauranga yesterday by Ministers Steven Joyce, Nathan Guy and Te Ururoa Flavell....

North's problems need new approach
Education and a cross-section approach is needed to improve Northlanders' lives, say the region's leaders.

The comments come after the Mixed Fortunes report released by the Salvation Army which showed Northland ranked the poorest across education, employment, crime, youth achievement, abuse and neglect.

The Northern Advocate asked local MPs, mayors, a Salvation Army worker and iwi and hapu representatives what solutions they had for these social problems.

Whangarei Mayor Sheryl Mai said these were problems that couldn't be solved overnight. "There's no silver bullet. I think it's a multi-pronged approach," she said.

"For example, we've been working hard on truancy with the Ministry of Education and police - these partnerships are important."

Far North Mayor John Carter agreed and said partnerships with local iwi and within local government were a key part of solving the issues. "The issue is we have government departments and non-governmental organisations working in silos, so we are not getting the co-ordination or outcomes we could be getting.

Northland is actually awash with Government money, but it's not hitting home base."

Both Sonny Tau, the leader of Tuhoronuku -the group given mandate to negotiate settlements, and Pita Tipene, leader of the group who oppose Tuhoronuku -Te Kotahitanga, said there needed to be some responsibility upheld by the Government....

TRC and iwi forging ahead with Maori representation
While New Plymouth is voting on the establishment of Maori wards the regional council and iwi of Taranaki are forging ahead with their own representation arrangement.

As part of their treaty settlements Te Atiawa, Taranaki and Ngaruahine negotiated provisions ensuring iwi representatives had a place on Taranaki Regional Council standing committees.

Three individuals will be appointed to the policy and planning committee and three to the consents and regulatory committee, Te Korowai o Ngaruahine Trust general manager Cassandra Crowley said.

While the representation arrangement has been talked about since the middle of last year it took a step closer on Monday when the Ngaruahine Claims Settlement Bill went before Cabinet for consideration.

It could take months for Cabinet to enact the legislation but once that process was complete it would allow the TRC to make the appointments.

"We're one step closer. It will be within a year," Crowley said.....

Maori in regions disadvantaged - report
A Salvation Army report released today reveals that Māori who live in regional areas such as Northland and Gisborne are getting what it described as a 'bad deal'.

The report by the Salvation Army looked at the state of life in regional Aotearoa and found they were the most disadvantaged parts of the country.

It showed the divide between the regions was growing, with the South Island faring well, but those in the North Island, apart from Auckland and Wellington, deprived socially and economically....

For Whanau Ora to work we just need to believe
Whanau Ora must not be assessed based on reports of Te Puni Kokiri incompetence. Nor should the approach be assessed based on Crown incompetence in establishing ineffective infrastructure and processes to direct Whanau Ora implementation.

One hundred and seventy-five years of Crown mismanagement of Maori wellbeing will not be turned around in four years, it will take decades or generations to break some cycles that have been imbedded in the lives of our whanau and in the thinking of the Crown. This is a direct consequence of the Crown seeking to manage according to what it has imported from its own experience with Western models and theories.....

Gate Pa first to open Maori immersion preschool
A new early childhood centre - the first of its kind in Tauranga - has opened at Gate Pa School with classes starting next Monday.

Principal Richard Inder said establishing Te Puna Reo o Pukehinahina came from an idea, about 18 months ago, when the school was exploring how it could cater more for its Maori pupils, whose parents wanted them to learn te reo in an early childhood setting.

There are two ways to do that - a kohanga or a puna reo.

A puna reo is funded and supported by the Ministry of Education. A kohanga reo is chartered through Te Kohanga Reo National Trust.

What is a puna reo?
Puna Reo provides an education and care environment in Maori language and culture settings.....

Computers at Home initiative benefit Māori whānau
"Computers at Home" in Papakura is the first free computing course for Māori families of its kind and on top of being equipped with the skills needed to work a computer, students also get their own computer to take home upon graduation.

Computer tutor Tania Manuera explains, "They provide free 20 hours of training and after the training each parents walk away with a computer to take home and that's theirs to keep forever plus they get subsidised internet on top of that to help them with on-going learning for themselves and their whānau at home."

It's the only programme of its kind in Papakura but eventually Manuera hopes it will be introduced across the country....

Is the EPA up to dealing with Maori?
A Taranaki tribe is accusing the Environmental Protection Authority of failing to meet and talk to the region's iwi.

The claim is made in feedback to a proposal by Shell Todd Oil Services to continue pumping oil from the Maui field.

Water claims delay 'like foreshore and seabed'
A Treaty lawyer says the Crown's approach to recognising Māori water rights is no better than its handling of foreshore and seabed claims.

Calls for tangata whenua interests in water to be acknowledged in law are at a standstill.

Claimants want the Waitangi Tribunal to push ahead with the second stage of its inquiry into fresh water and geothermal resources but the Crown is attempting to delay the case, arguing it is still developing policy on water and is working with iwi and hapū.

Lawyer Janet Mason, who acts for Te Rarawa and Ngāti Rangitihi, said the implications ran deep.

"From the claimants' point of view, it's actually the Crown's actions and conduct which is wasting a lot of taxpayer resource.

"They continue to stall these discussions. They continue to fail to recognise that there is a legitimate interest there. And we liken this to what they have done with Foreshore and Seabed [Act]," she said.

"It's been 10-odd years since that Ngāti Apa Court of Appeal decision and the resources that the Crown has spent in two lots of legislation and the ongoing cost to the claimants and to the legal aid system by the Crown just refusing to acknowledge that there are proprietary rights, is just putting everyone in an impossible situation."

The highly controversial 2004 Foreshore and Seabed law was replaced with the Marine and Coastal Area Act.

Under that legislation, whānau, hapū and iwi can seek recognition and protection of beaches and waterlines in their rohe.

The Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations, Christopher Finlayson, is due to make his first decision on those claims in the next month or so

Maori wards not an option before 2019
The question of whether or not Rotorua Lakes Council should have Maori wards has resurfaced in recent days. One local group is now suggesting it as an alternative to the council’s current Te Arawa Partnership Model proposal which the council has been publicly consulting on over the last two months. The council is expected to make a decision on that proposal at a meeting on 26 May.

However Rotorua Lakes Council debated the issue of Maori wards in November last year and resolved not to introduce Maori wards for the 2016 and 2019 elections.

Wakatu Incorporation fight to go to the Supreme Court
Wakatu Incorporation's determined fight over Crown land settlement in Nelson and Motueka is to go to the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, in a judgment released on Friday, has granted leave for Wakatu, its kaumatua director Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kahui Trust trustees to appeal an Appeal Court judgment made last December.

The Appeal Court had dismissed Wakatu's appeal of a High Court decision with the judges saying the claim unnecessarily strained settled legal principles when alternative remedies existed through the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process.

The applicants argued that when the Crown granted land to the New Zealand Company for its settlement in the Nelson region, it inherited the company's promise to set aside one tenth as reserves for Maori.....

Nga Potiki keen to pick up state houses
Iwi in Tauranga Moana are keen to hear the detail on the Government’s plans to sell the city's 1250 state houses.

The Minister for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, says Tauranga and Invercargill have been chosen to pilot the sell down because they have a stable demand for social housing and active community housing providers.

Victoria Kingi from Nga Potiki Trust says buying state houses was discussed as part of the iwi’s settlement negotiations.

She says the trust is keen to buy the 149 houses in its rohe around Papamoa, or to work with other providers to pick up the whole package.

But she says the price and the terms need to be right.....

Otago key partner in Māori Centre of Research Excellence
University of Otago researchers are set to make key contributions to Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga, New Zealand’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence (CoRE), which has been selected to receive a further five years’ funding from the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC).

“Our vision is for Māori leading New Zealand into the future.  Our research realises Māori aspirations for positive engagement in national life, enhances our excellence in Indigenous scholarship and provides solutions to major challenges facing humanity in local and global settings.....

Hapū calls for answers over waahi tapu bid
A Motiti Island sub-tribe has accused Heritage New Zealand of incompetence because it hasn't dealt with an application the hapū says it submitted more than a year ago.

Ngāi Te Hapū said it had lodged a bid with the trust requesting waahi tapu (sacred site) status for Astrolabe Reef, where the container ship Rena ran aground in 2011.

A spokesperson for Ngāi Te Hapū, Buddy Mikaere, said he was sick and tired of waiting.

He said its application had been with Heritage New Zealand for over a year.

Mr Mikaere said the agency had mucked around with its bid over that time and done nothing with it.

He said the agency had apologised to the hapū over the delays and said staff were too busy or that it did not have the resources to deal with the sub-tribe's request....

Māori MPs urged to stand strong for Whānau Ora
Iwi chairs in the Whānau Ora Partnership Group have expressed their immense disappointment regarding the criticism some Māori MP's have expressed regarding on the development of Whānau Ora.

Chair of the Whānau Ora Partnership Group, Sonny Tau says “we have been meeting with iwi chairs from throughout Aotearoa at Whangaehu Marae, to discuss the pressing issues impacting on whānau, hapu and iwi”

“We are dismayed that some Māori politicians would buy into the beat-up by politically motivated tirades which do nothing but bring this kaupapa into disrepute. We need our people to continue to have faith in their own answers; to be proud of the gains that have already been made in enabling our whānau to be self-managing."

Uenuku prepares for land claim negotiations
A Whanganui tribe is galvanising its members to strengthen its negotiating position with the Crown.

Ngāti Uenuku, which is based in Raetihi and around the middle reaches of the Whanganui River, is running a campaign to get as many members as possible onto its tribal database.

In February last year, it established itself as an iwi entity and then formed the Uenuku Charitable Trust.

It's now one of the four large natural groups within the rohe seeking to negotiate Treaty of Waitangi land claims with the Crown.

The tribe's beneficiary registrar, Kahurangi Simon, said it was using different ways to reach out to its members.

Should the Māori fisheries body be canned?
MPs have heard iwi don't want the Māori fisheries body to be abolished.

Their views are at odds with an independent report suggesting it should go.

It has been a while since the Government started shifting some of the fishing quota to Māori - 25 years, in fact.

Ngāi Tahu elder, Sir Tipene O'Regan, once described it as one of the greatest single asset transfers in New Zealand history.

By 1992 the Government honoured its obligations to Māori through the Māori Fisheries Settlement - dubbed the Sealord Deal - which led to Māori receiving quota and cash.

Now, there's a proposal to wind up the body safeguarding that allocation on behalf of tribes - Te Ohu Kaimoana.

Those recommendations are in a scheduled review done by barrister Tim Castle who said iwi have matured and are capable of being in control of the quota they own.....

Iwi dismisses fears of imported labour
A Far North iwi leader is dismissing fears the Chinese company expanding a luxury resort on the Karikari Peninsula will import Chinese labour to build it.

Ngati Kahu chief executive Anahera Herbert said Shanghai CRED had told the runanga it planned to employ New Zealanders, and that the holiday park would cater for tourists on a budget.

"I'm confident they'll do what they told us they'll do, and they haven't broken their promises to us yet," she said.

She said a Ngati Kahu delegation would travel to China next week to cement the friendly relationship as guests of the company for a cultural exchange, which would become an annual event.

"When they came here, we moved to manaaki (look after) and mentor them to show them how we work, and how they can work with us, and now this is their way of reciprocating, to show how they work in their own land," Mrs Herbert said.

"And there's the aspect of us looking for opportunities by which whanau and hapu can benefit more from what is, really, a new partnership with our new manuhiri (guests)."

The Ngati Kahu delegation to Shanghai will include Mrs Herbert; Ngati Kahu chair Dr Margaret Mutu; four kaumatua and kuia; four young people; and several others who would pay their own way...

Piripi puts out welcome mat for Chinese in north
A far north iwi leader is welcoming an influx of Chinese investment into the region.

Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming has announced it is buying seven dairy farms south of Kaikohe from Merv and Cara Pinny for just over $42 million.

The deal has been criticised by former Far North mayor Wayne Brown, who says the Government should encourage Chinese and other investors to invest in added value processing rather than land.

But Haami Piripi from Te Runanga o Te Rarawa says Chinese are a culturally aware people who are happy to engage with Maori businesses.

"These lands were lost to us a century ago through deceit and shonky land deals and it's really how the country was lost to us. But what these people offer is an opportunity for us to develop services around them that will complement their investment," he says.

Mr Piripi says a big difference between the new wave of Chinese investment and the early colonists is they are bringing their own capital rather than ripping it from Maori resources...

Auditor-general questions $40 million administration spend on Whanau Ora
It is one of the Government's flagship programmes and cost $137 million in its first four years - but the country's top spending watchdog admits it is difficult to work out what Whanau Ora has achieved.

Auditor General Lyn Provost also found that $40 million of the money for the scheme - which is earmarked for vulnerable families and children - was swallowed up in administration.

And after an audit of its first four years, Provost admitted: "It was not easy to describe what it is or what it has achieved."

The driving force behind Whanau Ora was former Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia.

But National threw its weight behind the scheme, which is seen as a model for the delivery of some other services.

The Government has been forced on the defensive, however, by revelations about a lack of checks on money handed out under the scheme, including $20,000 used by Dunedin gang members to buy cannabis...

Māori freehold land rates remission and postponement policy (Auckland Council)
The Māori freehold land rates remission and postponement policy was adopted by the Governing Body in June 2013 alongside the Annual Plan 2013/2014.

There are no changes proposed for this policy in the current Long-term Plan 2015-2025 (LTP).

The purpose of this policy is to set out the council’s approach to the remission and postponement of rates on Māori freehold land (MFL). The key features of the policy are set out below.....

Tribunal publishes final Rena report
The Tribunal said two Bay of Plenty claims, by Motiti Rohe Moana Trust, the Ngai Te Hapu Incorporated Society and the Mataatua District Maori Council, concerning the removal of the wreck from Astrolabe Reef were well-founded.

The latest report looked at the Crown's conduct in entering into an agreement in October 2012 obliging it to support the ship's owners' resource consent application to leave sections of the vessels where they were.

The Tribunal said the obligations placed the Rena's owners in a special position in the consent process that could significantly affect tangata whenua interest in the reef.

The inquiry concluded the Crown signed the deed without sufficient knowledge of the rights of Maori and without consulting affected tangata whenua.

It said the Crown damaged its Treaty of Waitangi partnership with the claimants - although it averted primary prejudice by partially opting to oppose the owners' consent bid in August 2014.....

Maori education provider at risk of closure
A kaupapa Maori charitable trust in Dunedin that provides tertiary training to rakatahi could close, and staff could lose their jobs.

The education provider offers programmes such as small business management, money management, computing and hospitality.

Te Arai te Uru Kokiri Centre said recent changes to Tertiary Education Commission funding policies had contributed to its operations becoming unsustainable.

It has confirmed that, after 30 years, it is going to have to make cutbacks....

Iwi 'ready' for control of fishing assets
Iwi are now ready to take full control of Aotearoa Fisheries and its $543 million of fishery assets, MPs have been told.

The 2015 independent review of the Maori Fisheries Settlement by Wellington barrister Tim Castle recommends that Te Ohu Kaimoana, which oversees Aotearoa Fisheries, be wound down with power returned to iwi groups for management....

Auditor-General Backs NZ First Over Airy Fairy Whanau Ora
New Zealand First has long said Whanau Ora is a serious waste of hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money, says New Zealand First.

“Now, the first time it has come under serious official scrutiny by the Auditor-General, it has fallen seriously short,” says New Zealand First Leader and Member of Parliament for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“This was supposedly a flagship policy for Maori, but it has let them down woefully. For example, a third of total spending has been wasted on administration. Meanwhile, scandal after wasteful scandal occurred despite initial government denials.

“For Finance Minister Bill English to excuse these disgraces as teething problems is itself alarming.

“There were always glaring monitoring gaps on where the millions were going, and there was no real data on participation.

“When struggling families needed help in all areas, they got some airy fairy scheme dreamed up by the race-based Maori Party.

“It is not racist to point out that both Maori and the taxpayer are being ripped off,” says Mr Peters.....

Votes rolling in for Maori ward referendum
The idea of a Maori ward seat has "hit a nerve" with the public, who are returning their referendum votes at rapid speed.

Eleven days after voting officially opened for the binding referendum on the issue, 29.77 per cent of votes have already been returned.

At the same stage during voting for New Plymouth's by-election earlier this year, only 14.5 per cent of votes had been sent back in.

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd, who has been ardently behind a Maori ward seat, said he believed double the percentage of votes had been returned for the binding referendum because it was an emotive topic.

The 56,257 registered voters in the New Plymouth district have until noon on May 15 to get their votes in for the Maori ward referendum.....

New rates model 'game changer'
The Far North District Council is hailing a new rates model as a game changer and says it will slash the tens of millions of dollars owed by Māori.

It has been charging around twice the amount for rates on multiple-owned Māori land, compared to land owned by individuals and said the new structure created a level playing field.

Figures obtained by Te Manu Korihi show Māori in the Far North owe nearly $30 million which amounts to two thirds of the district council's total rates arrears.

The new model writes off previous rates debt and recalculates rates, so that a block of land owned by many people is rated in the same way as single owners of a block of land.

The Far North District Council mayor said the current system did not work, with landowners of unproductive land accumulating massive debt....

Auckland Council Misleading Public to Downplay Taniwha Tax
The Taxpayers’ Union is inviting Auckland Council officials to read the Union’s briefing paper on the Council’s Cultural Impact Assessment ‘Taniwha Tax’ before continuing to mislead the public. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:

“Departing Chief Planner, Roger Blakeley, is being very sneaky by claiming that only 30 resource consents have required full Cultural Impact Assessments. He knows very well that the real issue is the thousands of applicants who the Council has forced to consult with sometimes 16 iwi groups just to confirm a Cultural Impact Assessment is not required.”

“Dr Blakeley has confirmed that it is up to the iwi, and not the Council, whether a full assessment is required, including for spiritual matters. What confidence can the public have in this process when the Council can’t tell us how it will deal with complaints on iwi charging, conflicts of interest, long delays and conflicting reports?”....

Lawyers warn council could face judicial review
The Rotorua Lakes Council could face a judicial review of its actions, according to legal advice obtained by opponents of the controversial Te Arawa Partnership Proposal.

On Thursday the council released its own legal opinion, produced by Hamilton-based law firm Tompkins Wake, which stated the proposal was "lawful and compliant".

Council legal advice
However, members of the Rotorua Pro Democracy Society sought their own legal advice from law firm Russell McVeagh, which they provided to council chief executive Geoff Williams on April 20. That advice concludes there is "a real issue" with the legality of the partnership model, which could lead to a successful judicial review of the council's actions.

Pro Democracy Society legal advice
Society members say they warned Mr Williams of this and are asking the council to seek a third independent legal opinion.

Society secretary Reynold Macpherson said members decided to release their legal opinion to the Rotorua Daily Post after the council released the Tompkins Wake opinion.....

Māori tribes take on Norwegian oil giant
A small Māori delegation from the Far North is confronting Norway's biggest oil company head on.

A roopu representing Te Hiku o Te Ika tribes is travelling to the head office of Statoil to demonstrate the widespread opposition to its oil exploration programme in Te Reinga Basin.

Far North tribal representatives leave tomorrow and will be meeting with the indigenous Saami Parliament of Norway to seek their support in demanding a future free of deep sea oil drilling.

The leader of the delegation, Mike Smith, said Far North Māori had a very clear message.....

Māori Caucus call on iwi leaders support
Labour’s Māori caucus has sent an open letter to iwi leaders around the country seeking their support for meat workers currently in employment negotiations with Talleys.

“We are aware that when Talleys locked out workers for a period of 89 days in the previous round of industrial disputes, it was the pressure and influence of iwi leaders who were able to convince them that a better solution could be found, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta......

Elder warns of calls for action against water plant
The Maori trustees of Northland's Poroti Springs are warning they can't guarantee the safety or security of a water-bottling plant to be built there.

Auckland company Zodiac Holdings has the right to take water from aquifers above the springs for 35 years and is looking for investors to build a factory.

But the trustees' chair, Taipari Munro, said local hapu were angry their opposition to the proposal had been ignored, and there have been growing calls for protest and occupation.

He said local hapu were prepared to take direct action as they had no faith in assurances a water-bottling plant would not reduce the flow to the springs or pollute them.....

Maori-made food from Palmy to Dubai
An iwi-owned company has landed a new deal to supply Dubai with emergency food pouches.

The wealthy Arab emirate is buying relief packs from New Zealand to dispatch to countries hit by disasters.

The food packs look like microwaveable rice pouches you might buy at the supermarket, and they are made at the Prepared Foods factory in Palmerston North, a division of Aotearoa Fisheries.

This is a big deal for the company, with emergency rations making up five percent of the business.

Water hearing time to be decided
The Waitangi Tribunal has called a judicial conference to sort out when a second round of hearings will be held into Māori rights to freshwater and geothermal resources.

The Crown wants to wait until next February saying it is still developing policy on water and is working with iwi and hapū.

But the Māori Council and other claimants are fighting any delay.

The Tribunal has called a hui between both parties for 2 June.

Chief Judge Wilson Isaac, the presiding officer, will hear arguments from lawyers on whether the inquiry should be put off or held some time from October....

Wellington restaurant puts Te Reo on the menu
One of Wellington's newest restaurants is serving its diners Te Reo Māori- as an extra language on its menu.

The restaurant, Whitebait, approached Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori (Māori Language Commission) to translate the names of its dishes into Te Reo.

Whitebait co-director Louise Hoather, who is Pākehā, said that besides the Wharewaka she did not know of any other mainstream restaurant that would even consider using Māori language on the menu.

She said they wanted to acknowledge Te Reo as part of their kaupapa on kai.

"It's critically important because it reflects part of what we think is important to New Zealand in a celebration of our philosophy towards food in our restaurant," said Ms Hoather.....

Te Arawa partnership proposal “lawful and compliant”
New legal opinion confirms council Te Arawa partnership proposal “lawful and compliant”

A new legal opinion received this week by Rotorua Lakes Council has confirmed there are no legal barriers to implementing the Te Arawa Partnership Model proposal, if the council resolves to do so.

The legal advice comes as Rotorua Lakes Council starts five days of hearings for residents who have made submissions on the proposal, following a seven week period of public consultation.

Local government legal experts, Tompkins Wake Lawyers, confirm that the Te Arawa Partnership Model is “lawful and compliant” with the council’s obligations under legislation.....

Rangatira descendants get places on Waitangi board
The Maori Affairs select committee has recommended a change to the Waitangi National Trust to allow representatives of four key Maori families to sit on the board.

It agreed with a submission from Arapeta Hamilton that it was unfair the four families had just one representative, while three Pakeha families whose ancestors were part of treaty history have a member each.

As a consequence, the amendment bill allows requires representation from the families of Hone Heke, Maihi Kawiti, Tamati Waka Nene, and Pomare.

Board members will be limited to three three-year terms.......

Iwi keen to see financial benefits return to community
A South Taranaki iwi wants financial returns linked to gas exploration off its coast to be given back to their community, in return for consent to keep running the Maui gasfield.

Crowley said although the economic benefits of the Maui field have been well documented, the environmental risks associated with the operation were located within the iwi's rohe.

Crowley also raised concern about the lack of insight into te ao Maori, or the Maori worldview, demonstrated in the application and wanted STOS management and staff to undertake cultural training.....

New Zealand Indigenous People's Rights Need More Improvement
New Zealand’s representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues said although Aotearoa is often thought as a leader in recognizing the rights of indigenous people, it was always not the case. Valmaine Toki, of Nga Puhi, Ngati Wai and Ngati Rehua descent, is the first representative of Aotearoa and the in the UN forum on indigenous rights.

There is always interest at the UN forum about New Zealand’s MMP electoral system and dedicated Maori seats. “They see that as a way forward and a model for other jurisdictions to aspire to, but in Aotearoa-New Zealand, we think we are doing such a great job in terms of recognizing indigenous rights,” said Toki.

She cited Nicaragua as an example of how autonomous zones were returned to the indigenous people. Toki said that in Aotearoa-New Zealand, the scenario would be unlikely, reports Radio NZ.

She acknowledged that the Waitangi Tribunal was often seen as an innovative system. However, Toki said only a fraction of what was “alienated” from the Maori is actually returned. She realised indigenous rights in New Zealand need “more work.”....

Majority Wellington Māori oppose supercity
Most of Wellington region's grassroots Māori oppose the plan for a supercity that would see them lose their voice on local councils.

Like much of the general community, they are against the model, however iwi leaders say there are benefits to dealing with one authority for the greater Wellington region.

Chairperson of the Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust Neville Baker said the kōrero that he had heard on the ground differed from what iwi leaders were saying at the top.

Mr Baker of Te Ātiawa said while a supercity may work for Ngāti Whātua in Auckland, it did not mean it would work for Wellington, Te Whanganui-ā-Tara.

Mr Baker said Māori rights must be enshrined in the model, and the iwi trust needed to take a cautious approach.

"The important thing is to be able to ensure that those customary rights, those treaty rights, those areas of the settlement that have been agreed to are enduring and, you know, change is taking place all the time so you don't necessarily have to commit to something because of the wider view that's held".....

Settlement process 'insufficent' on social services
The government has been told the Treaty settlement process is not well suited to exploring opportunities for Maori groups to be more involved in commissioning social services.

The finding was part of a Productivity Commission report on the public welfare system.

The commission's report said enabling greater rangatiratanga within social services meant the Crown would have to step back from 'deciding for' and 'doing for' Maori.

But the commission also noted that if the Crown were to step back too far it would risk breaching the Treaty of Waitangi because the Crown would not be treating tangata whenua in the same way as others.

Dubai and Maori fisheries agreement first of its kind
A new agreement between Dubai and a Maori fisheries company is being described as a world-first.

The Dubai Government's Awqaf and Minors’ Affairs Foundation has signed a memorandum of understanding with Aotearoa Fisheries and its Prepared Foods division.

It is the first non-Islamic agreement of its kind signed by the Government of Dubai.

The foundation has selected the company to produce Halal ready-to-eat meals, because it as 100 percent Maori-owned.....

Auckland Maori budget due soon.
Auckland Mayor Len Brown says he is doing what he can to meet the Auckland Maori Statutory Board’s wish list for the city’s budget.

Mr Brown will unveil his thinking on the budget on Thursday and the council will debate it next year.

He says transport is obviously a big ticket item.

There is also pressure coming from Maori for the council to take a lead in economic development and jobs, to help iwi in their development of settlement assets, and to support initiatives aimed at improving education.

"The Independent Maori Statutory board have made it quite clear to us that they are looking for something like $190m of deliverable's over 10 years. We're working towards an outcome for Maori that will be satisfactory and will sit in beside outcomes for everyone in Tamaki Makaurau in terms of how we make this city go forward" says Mayor Len Brown.....

Hauraki iwi tribe hopes for treaty settlement
A tribe that is part of the Hauraki iwi collective is hopeful the group can reach a treaty settlement this year, after nearly six years of negotiations.

The Waitangi Tribunal recently released a report requested by one of the iwi collective, Ngati Rahiri Tumutumu.

The collective claimed that offering a thousand hectares in both Mount Te Aroha and Moehau to the tribal collective was unfair but the tribunal ruled the Crown was not unfair.

A Ngati Maru negotiator, Paul Majurey, said the report was appropriate and he was eager to see the collective move forward.....

Whenua Kura initiative impresses minister
Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell is praising a Ngai Tahu initiative aimed at increasing and upskilling the number of Maori working on farms.

Whenua Kura, which is a joint venture between Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and Lincoln University, has won funding from the South Island Whanau Ora commissioning agency Te Putahitanga.

It has stepped up from a certificate level course to one offering a diploma in agriculture, a level 4 certificate in agriculture and a diploma in agricultural business.

Mr Flavell says he can see Whanau Ora principles in action...

'Ponytail-puller' shouldn't change flag, says elder
A Northland Maori elder and army veteran says the Prime Minister has no mandate to change the flag so many people fought and died under.

81-year-old Jim Te Tuhi, whose father fought in the First World War, referred to John Key as "that pony-tail puller" in an Anzac Day speech he made in Hokianga.

He said the Prime Minister's harrassment of a waitress was unacceptable -- and so is his flag proposal.

Mr Tuhi said that for a man of Mr Key's position and mana, it was stupid to repeatedly pull the woman's hair, and he should grow up.

He said Mr Key should ask people first if they mind having a new flag, before parading alternatives before them....

Call to repeal "racist" law
As New Plymouth begins to vote on the controversial inclusion of a Maori Ward, the chair of a nationwide Maori organisation believes the need for a referendum is racist.

By law, only when a council decides to add a Maori ward, can a referendum be held to decide if it's established.

The Chair of the Maori Committee of Elected Members in Local Government, Bonita Bigham, says it's a law that needs to be scrapped.

"I support Mayor Judd in his cause for the repeal of this legislation which allows this to be the only question around ward development to go to public referendum. Dare I say it I think it's a racist law."

Bonita Bigham says it will be upsetting if New Plymouth votes against the establishment of the seat.

Voting closes on May 15.

Call for all affected residents to be consulted over gold mining proposal
Questions are being raised as to why only central North Island Maori are being consulted about a plan to look for gold and silver that could cause environmental damage to waterways.

China-based Tianbao Mining Corporation has applied to the New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals for an exploration permit over 4526.28 hectares of land, between Horohoro and Atiamuri, south of Rotorua.

The work programme would consist of geological mapping, geophysical, geochemical sampling and drilling.

The Government agency has a statutory responsibility to consult with iwi and hapu whose rohe includes the permit area or who may be directly affected by a permit, but at this stage no one else is to be consulted.

Twenty three Maori groups were contacted about Tianbao Mining's plan....

Charter school buys waka for $100,000
Te Taitokerau Tārai Waka have sold their traditional-waka at the price of $100,000.

The traditional waka known as a waka-tēte built by tohunga-tārai waka Hekenukumai Busby was auctioned to raise funds for the school of traditional navigation at Aurere in Doubtless Bay.

Hekenukumai Busby says, "It's gonna help us get our Whare Wānanga completed which will help continue teaching our students to learn more about celestial navigation."

Whangarei charter school Te Kāpehu Whetū Principal Dr Nathan Mathews says the waka was bought by its sponsor He Puna Mārama Trust and will be used as part of the school’s hauora programme.

“It’ll help towards traditional navigation and mātauranga Māori” says Dr Mathews....

Stand-off over 'racist' artwork
A Maori artist was asked to leave a Wellington art gallery after a tense conversation over a print she believed was racist.

Beri, 30, said she went into the privately-owned gallery with her baby and partner on Wednesday morning, interested in the "indigenous art" that was signposted on its display window.

Artist Taryn Beri said will never go back to ORA Gallery again after a dispute over an art work.

Instead, she found a large print of a Maori woman cartoonised with sharp teeth to look like a cannibal.

The art "disturbed" her, she said.

Perplexed about the sign indicating Maori artwork on the window, Beri said she turned to a gallery assistant and asked if it was an indigenous art space, to which the assistant replied it wasn't.....

Partnership between hapu and Whangarei council spurs debate
The question of whether Maori should be appointed to Whangarei District Council standing committees or elected by their own hapu spurred a debate that touched on tokenism and democracy.

A move to ensure decision-making was more inclusive of Maori also ironically rattled some councillors because they had not been "included in the process".

Some suggested the Strategic Alliance policy approved at yesterday's council meeting, which sees hapu representatives co-opted on to standing committees and invited on to other forums, was undemocratic.

Others said it had come "like a bolt out of the blue".....

Reo lessons for Green contenders
Confidence from Metiria Turei in the ability of her next co-leader to embrace treaty and Maori issues.

Three sitting MPs, Kevin Hague, Gareth Hughes and James Shaw, and Auckland lawyer Vernon Tava, are vying for the role of the Greens' male co-leaders.

Ms Turei says Mr Hague in particular had a lot of the Pakeha treaty awareness work of the 1980s and 90s.

"So he has a very good perspective of it from that point of view. Both he and Gareth and James to a certain extent have been working on their reo as well. All of them have been really clear about their commitment to our treaty policy and to our charter. They've all made a commitment and they all have enough experience to deal with the Maori world when they need to" she says.

The Green Party charter includes recognition of the Maori version of Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the legitimate treaty and the right of Maori as tangata whenua having a different status to others in Aotearoa.....

Iwi go back to Hutt Valley DHB seeking health say
Representatives of Maori health providers have again felt the need to confront Hutt Valley District Health Board members on improving iwi input.

Well over 100 marae, health and community representatives packed out the DHB's December meeting, with proposed cuts to funding to Maori health groups drawing claims of unfairness and institutional racism.

Board chair Virginia Hope pledged at the time to respond to the Maori groups about how the board would address their concerns.....

Maori ward vote 'case of tyranny of majority': Former Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres
A decision on Maori wards could end as a case of the tyranny of majority, former Race Relations Commissioner Joris De Bres says.

Feelings of rejection were strong among the crowd of about 50 people who attended the referendum forum at the New Plymouth District Council Chamber on Tuesday.

DOC 'red tape' delaying concession application: Ian McAlpine
Mountain man Ian McAlpine says red tape is still delaying him from doing the thing he loves – guiding on Mt Taranaki.

"On February 27, more than two months after the concession was terminated, I gave my new guiding application concession to the DOC office in New Plymouth," he said in a letter to the editor.

"This was sent to Hamilton and in a letter dated March 16 they told me the concession was sent back to the Taranaki office to be sent to local iwi for consultation, giving them a month to reply."

McAlpine said he'd since received another letter stating the decision date had been pushed out again to June 8......

First in leave Maori dry
One of the advisors to the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group says the current review of fresh water management may have to claw back some property rights that have slipped away.

There has been a sharp reaction to some of the group's proposals around tradeable property rights, with Prime Minister John Key saying no one can own water.

Lawyer Willie Te Aho says in fact resource consents under the 1991 Resource Management Act have turned out to be the nearest things to property rights going to whoever was quick enough to apply for them first.

"Now our people are still going through the process of treaty settlement, we weren’t the first in line. I’ve been part of treaty settlements where we got the land back in Manutuke in Gisborne on behalf of Rongowhakaata, only to find we don’t have access to the water. That is held by the leaseholder. These are all the issues we have got to reconcile through this rights and interests debate," he says.....

The Maunga Authority agreed to stop cars driving to the summit of Maungawhau
Maunga Authority Chair Paul Majurey explains the important decision for this ancestral mountain reflects the serious consideration given to the initiative and says “there was an unanimous agreement at the Maunga Authority hui last night that a motor vehicle-free summit is the right outcome for the iconic taonga of Maungawhau / Mt Eden.”

Mr Majurey explains that in making their decision, the Maunga Authority placed emphasis on the spiritual and cultural significance of the summit to Mana Whenua and the community aspirations reflected in the long-standing public programme that led to the 2007 Maungawhau/Mt Eden Management Plan.....

Iwi partnership to purchase Crown land
The Tūwharetoa Settlement Trust (TST) and six other Tūwharetoa entities have partnered together to purchase 8,500 hectares of Crown land in the Hautu-Rangipo region of the central North Island.

The iwi partnership includes two major Tūwharetoa forestry trusts, Tūwharetoa farm trusts, and a collective hapū entity.

TST Chairman, Dylan Tahau, said the deal has significant strategic and commercial benefits for the iwi partners but most importantly the purchase sees the return of Tūwharetoa whenua.

“There are several important wāhi tapu (sacred areas) on the land, and two of our rivers, the Waiotaka and Tongariro, run through it also.

“Purchasing this property and agreeing a lease-back is a major benefit for Tūwharetoa, and will support our economic, social and cultural development,” said Mr Tahau.

TST through its Tūwharetoa Property Investment Limited Partnership has also purchased the land under nine schools in Taupō, other Corrections property, and the Taupō Courthouse through the deferred settlement process. These purchases make the iwi one of the largest landowners in the Taupō township....

Residents, tour operators hope cars stay on Mt Eden
Driving to the top of Mt Eden to see the views of Auckland city could soon to be a thing of the past.

The body that now administers Auckland's volcanic cones is meeting to decide whether or not vehicles will be banned from using the roads to reach the summit.

For 3 News to broadcast from the top of the Mt Eden, we would have had to give the Maunga Authority four weeks' notice so it could consult 21 iwi members. But this restriction is just beginning, with early indications the public will be the next to be affected....

Almost 1900 submissions received on proposed Te Arawa partnership model
Almost 1900 submission have been received by the Rotorua Lakes Council regarding the proposed new Te Arawa partnership model.

According to the Council this is the most submissions it has ever received for a single issue.

Late last year Te Arawa proposed a model to council as a means of providing iwi with input into council decision making.

The Council voted 10-3 to support Te Arawa’s proposed model in principle, subject to a special consultative procedure, to allow the community to provide feedback.

Submissions regarding the proposal were received by the Council over the last 6 weeks.

736 were received online. Four petitions were also received, one against the proposal with 1370 signatures; one with 250 signatures asking for Council to consider a proposed “Democratic Governance Model” which was submitted; and two in support of the proposal with 33 and 27 signatures respectively.....

Iwi to have input on marina development
In the early 1980s, Ngati Hine leader Sir James Henare opposed any Opua Marina development without consultation or recognition of tangata whenua.

Now, 26 years since his passing, Ngati Hine have signed an agreement they hope will honour his message.

Last Friday, Ngati Hine and council-owned Far North Holdings signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would hopefully create a dialogue Sir James had yearned for.

"The purpose of the MoU is to allow Far North Holdings [FNH] and Te Runanga o Ngati Hine to work closely together on matters of mutual endeavour such as the water quality of the river, economic development opportunities and more," said Ngati Hine's Pita Tipene.....

Boost for Maori leadership in agriculture
A South Island iwi-led agricultural training programme is expanding and offering higher level qualifications as it seeks to boost Māori leadership.

Whenua Kura is a tribal-led training partnership between Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, Te Tapuae o Rehua, Ngāi Tahu Farming and Lincoln University.

It started last year as a one-year certificate in agriculture providing both classroom learning and on-farm experience at the Ngāi Tahu farms.

This year it has been broadened to include a diploma in agriculture, a level 4 certificate in agriculture and a diploma in agricultural business.....

Water controversy arises just as local plan is set to be notified
With Gisborne District Council’s freshwater plan about to be publicly notified, there are concerns the Government may have thrown something of a hospital pass to local bodies on the issue of the role of iwi in water management.

Coincidentally, Gisborne District Council was told last week that the district’s freshwater plan is scheduled to be publicly notified at the end of June after a final sign-off at the council’s June meeting. Initially the plan has focused on the Waipaoa and Te Arai river catchments as well as the Makauri and Matokitoki deep aquifers. The Gisborne council has already instructed staff to look at co-management options as the focus moves towards the Waiapu catchment.

An awful lot of work went into reaching a consensus from all the stakeholders, including Maori, on the local plan. It would be a pity if that was threatened or disrupted by a national controversy.....

No pro-Maori line on water rights
But are iwi seeking ownership? The short answer is no. The long answer is kind of. In 2012 the Maori Council took the Government to the Waitangi Tribunal and the Supreme Court. It was concerned that the Government’s asset sales programme would prevent claimants from obtaining redress over fresh water rights.

The Waitangi Tribunal saw it that way too. The Supreme Court didn’t. But an important finding emerged from the Tribunal. It said there is no Maori equivalent to the common law concept of ownership, but there is enough evidence to satisfy the ownership argument.

Which is to say that iwi could make a claim for ownership, although the actual claim is for the recognition of their mana over fresh water resources. This is not an ownership debate but – to use the closest common law equivalent – a debate over rights......

Māori Party letter to the Australian Prime Minister
As New Zealand’s only indigenous political party formed in response to discriminatory actions of a previous government, the Māori Party shares the pain of Australia’s First Peoples who face losing their connection to their ancestral land and the destruction of their communities as a result of government actions.

The right of indigenous people to live on their traditional land and to live as a community is not a lifestyle choice, it is an integral part of our identity.....

“Taniwha Tax” culturally wrong and easily solved
As developers and property owners face thousands of dollars in fees for Maori "cultural impact assessments" on thousands of sites across Auckland, a Maori academic says there is a simple solution to the situation

“There is a simple solution to these cultural impact assessments, and it lies in traditional Maori culture.” Says Mr Rankin. “There are karakia and rituals used to lift the tapu off entire regions, and I propose to do this soon. After this time, no cultural impact assessments will be needed because culturally, there will no longer be any tapu on any site in Auckland”....

'Fierce determination' from iwi to have input over water rights
The co-leader of the Maori Party has this morning told Q+A that iwi leaders have a "fierce determination" to continue discussions around water rights which is matched by government ministers.

Te Ururoa Flavell said the continuing discussions were based around long-term sustainability of New Zealand's water, and the role iwi could play in having input after being "left out for far too long".

"We're talking about setting up a regime that allows generations into the future to drink it, swim in it and actually get some kai from it," he said.

"I think fair-minded New Zealanders will understand the approach that is being taken by iwi."

Support for new airport name urged
The Napier City and Hastings District Councils will be asked to formally support a controversial proposal to rename the region's airport Ahuriri Airport Hawke's Bay.

The name change has been requested by Treaty of Waitangi claimant group Mana Ahuriri Incorporated and has been supported by Hawke's Bay Airport's board of directors.

But the airport company's chairman, Tony Porter, said yesterday the board believed the renaming was an issue that needed to be decided by the company's three shareholders - the Napier and Hastings councils, which hold 26 and 24 per cent stakes in the company respectively, and the Crown, which owns the other 50 per cent.

When the Hawke's Bay Airport directors next meet, on April 28, Mr Porter said he would table a motion that the board ask the shareholders to formally signal their support for the name change....

East Cape marae look at healthier options for feeding guests
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman has today launched Healthy Families East Cape at Te Poho o Rawiri Marae in Gisborne.

It’s the first community of 10 today to have the new government initiative which encourages people to live healthier lives by making good food choices and being active. $2.7 million is being invested into Healthy Families East Cape over four years.

Te Whare Hauora o Te Aitanga a-Hauiti will be the leader provider for Healthy Families,

Government funding of $40 million over four years will be invested in the project, with time hopefully a reduction in smoking, alcohol consumption, and smaller waistlines will be seen....

Students set tone for revival
Forty young Wairarapa students helped lay the foundations at the inaugural Wairarapa Kapa Haka Academy for a revival in secondary school Maori arts performance in the region.

"We want to encourage kapa haka at a secondary school level and this year we've opened up the Wairarapa REAP contest to the colleges.

"We hope that just as the competition has given our primary schools a reason to incorporate kapa haka into their curriculum, our colleges will do the same.".....

New database for traditional Māori kai
A new national database is being set up to help the public learn about and grow traditional Māori kai.

The Tūpuna Kai Project has received about $90,000 from the Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund with the aim of reconnecting the country with the benefits of traditional food.

The database will have information on the whakapapa and cultivation of traditional kai such as vegetables, berries and birds.....

Fund for indigenous art collaboration
Creative New Zealand is inviting Maori artists to apply for a $60,000 fund to support collaborations with other indigenous artists.

Senior manager Cath Cardiff says projects in any art form could be supported by the International Indigenous Artform Exchange Fund.

In 2014, the first year it was available, it supported three projects.

Tai Tokerau Maori Collective led by clay artist Colleen Ulrich worked with Aboriginal artists of Central Queensland.

Tawata Productions collaborated with Canada’s Native Earth Performing Arts indigenous theatre company on the WAKA CIIMAN project at the Weesageechak Festival in Toronto.....

Peters' help welcome in Treaty row - minister
Treaty Minister Chris Finlayson says the impasse over Ngapuhi's settlement is largely personality-driven and if NZ First leader Winston Peters can help resolve it his help will be welcome.

Mr Peters went to Waitangi Tribunal hearings in Hokianga yesterday, a visit Te Kotahitanga co-chairman Rudy Taylor described as "a first step in uniting Ngapuhi hapu".

It followed Mr Taylor's invitation to the new Northland MP to help Ngapuhi resolve the impasse over its mandate to negotiate a settlement.

The Crown has recognised Tuhoronuku as the negotiators but that is disputed by the Kotahitanga grouping led by Mr Taylor.

That grouping contains 12 hapu, including Ngati Hine.

Mr Finlayson said if Mr Peters believed he could help, he would be happy to talk to him soon.....

Brash water bomb unhelpful
Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox says some people own water and they’re not Maori.

Prime Minister John Key has leapt into negotiations with iwi leaders over water management by declaring no one owns water, and he won’t do a national water settlement.

His predecessor as National’s leader, Don Brash, has backed him up, saying the party could lose the regions if it gives Maori preferential access in fresh-water reform.

Ms Fox says those sorts of comments are divisive and unhelpful.

She says in most rural areas water is already fully allocated in a way that is akin to ownership.

"Certain sectors of our rural communities have had a monopoly over the water. Anyone who comes into that space who is a new farmer will find themselves without any rights to any water allocatioon, and if they think there is no ownerhip, they are completely wrong, and we need to address that and even out the playing field, and that is what our iwi are trying to do," she says......

Water rights deal possible under Labour
Labour leader Andrew Little is unimpressed with the way John Key is conducting treaty negotiations by press conference.

The Prime Minister used his post-cabinet press conference this week to decry an Iwi Leaders Group proposal to resolve water claims through mechanisms such as tradable water rights.

He says no one owns water, and he won’t accept a national settlement, although there could be specific local deals with regional councils about specific bodies of water.

Mr Little says the fact Maori have rights to natural resources is clear from the Treaty of Waitangi, and it is possible to negotiate a settlement tat can win widespread acceptance.

"In the same way that we successfully negotiated ways for Maori and Pakeha to have co-governance over for example the Waikato River and Lake Waikaremoana, maybe we have to find a way for Maori rights under the treaty in relation to water are also observed and respected, but understanding there is a political issue around whether people want to pay for water or whether we should have tradeable water rights," he says....

Iwi involvement boosts school achievement
A University of Canterbury researcher says high level commitments to improving Maori educational outcomes aren’t matched by the proper resources going into the sector.

Melanie Riwai-Couch received her PhD today for her work on how schools and iwi can work together to better support Maori students.

The mother of five is the principal at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Whanau Tahi, and says her family and her work meant she was conducting the research as an insider with all the insights that offers.

Looking at schools and kura in both the North and South Islands, she says it’s important to involve schools, parents, iwi and the Education Ministry in what’s called a community of practice.

"People are able to come together and get a better understanding of what success means to each of those parties and while there will be independent work that schools, iwi, ministry carry out, it was about identifying where the commonalities were and where those common points of interest were and how they could be supported by the community as a whole,"Dr Riwai-Couch says.

She says when iwi and schools work together to make decisions about what is taught at school, Maori students are more likely to achieve better school marks as well as be more connected with their cultural identity.....

Water decisions 'catastrophic' for Māori
A lawyer representing Māori in water rights cases says much of the blame for the controversy over freshwater rights rest squarely on the shoulders of local government.

Felix Geiringer said decisions by local authorities over water allocations have been terrible for New Zealand, but catastrophic for Maori.

Iwi leaders and the Government have agreed on a deadline to resolve freshwater rights by Waitangi Day 2016.

He said local government had to shoulder much of the blame for not sharing the resource fairly and had mismanaged freshwater, causing widespread pollution and environmental damage.

"Regional councils have really been the problem: what happened in the 1960s is that all of the decisions over water use were taken away from whoever had them, who were typically the people who were sitting next to the rivers, and they were given over to regional councils, precursors of our current councils.

"It developed the situation we have now under the Resource Management Act.

Mr Geiringer rejected concerns by Federated Farmers that settling Māori grievances around water would create new ones and said they should be reassured rather than threatened.

"What will happen is that that water will be used by whoever is able to make best use of it, and if Federated Farmers are able to make best use of it they'll continue to use it, but they might not use it for free anymore.".....

Iwi join with DHB to build whanau centre at hospital
A new partnership with Ngati Hine Health Trust providing improved services for Maori will go hand in hand with a major upgrade of the Bay of Islands Hospital at Kawakawa.

Northland District Health Board (NDHB) and Bay of Islands iwi Ngati Hine are working together to develop a Whanau Ora Centre at the hospital.....

Te Arawa proposal: More than 1000 submissions made
More than 1000 submissions have so far been received on Rotorua Lakes Council's proposed Te Arawa Partnership Model.

This Friday at 4pm is the deadline for public submissions to be lodged with the council.

The council has already received more than 1000 submissions, one of the highest responses for consultation on any council proposal in recent years.

The proposal, which has been out for public consultation over the last seven weeks, was approved in principle by a 10-3 vote of councillors at a full council meeting last December.

The proposed Te Arawa Partnership Model is the council's response to local government legislation requiring councils to facilitate Maori participation in council decision-making processes.

It also supports a commitment to build a new partnership with iwi that was part of the Rotorua 2030 shared vision developed with the Rotorua community after the 2013 council elections......

Freshwater next big fight
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says John Key has made it clear his Government was never serious about talking with Maori about water.

The Freshwater Iwi Leadership Group’s consultations with iwi on its proposals have been torpedoed by the Prime Minister’s assertion that no one owns water and he’s not willing to have a national water settlement.

Ms Turei says the Government’s rhetoric is a cover for its belief that commercial interests should always get first rights of access to water.

By not having a debate on the environmental and cultural issues they are protecting those users.

"After the foreshore and seabed everybody knew freshwater was going to be the next big fight. It was going to be really hard to get government to understand what Maori were talking about. The only word you can use in English is ownership. Really it's about who has control who has decision making power, what are the priorities for the use of water and who puts those priorities in place" says Metiria Turei.

Northern hapū express firm control over water rights
Te Mahurehure will take care of their own water. It’s a statement from the people at a hearing of Waitangi Tribunal in Waima in reply to the continued debate between government and iwi leaders over the issue of water rights.

This week also provides an opportunity for cross-examination of historical evidence, alleging Crown actions that dishonoured Māori leaders of this district and being dismissive of any Māori perspective.

Mr Hohepa says, “We're now saying that the stones that sunk below the water representing Māori perspective have started to rise and the cork floating on the water representing the Pākehā perspective continues to float. But the two must talk to know which is right and that will happen through a full understanding of Te Tiriti.”

Only in time will we understand who owns the water....

Charter schools vary approach to Maori
Inquiries by Te Manu Korihi into some partnership schools reveal a diverse approach to Maori education.

The investigation follows a Bay of Plenty Maori language advocate, Pat Spellman, calling for Te Reo to be compulsory in all charter schools.

But that vision is not being shared in the classrooms.

Te Kura Maori o Waatea splits its curriculum between Maori and English.

It's a different story at two other charter schools, South and West Auckland Middle Schools, where Maori is only compulsory for the second term of Year 9.

The schools are Christian-based with about 15 children per class, and academic advisor Alwyn Poole said they taught basic Maori in their curriculum.

Over the harbour bridge at North Shore's Vanguard Military School, Maori is an optional subject for seniors.

Vanguard teaches years 11 to 13, and the head of Maori, Eddie Hudson, said they offered Maori to all three year groups.

Officially, the approach to Maori education in charter schools is flexible, with the Ministry of Education only stipulating that the schools have to measure akonga attendance and achievement through school rolls and NCEA-type standards......

Govt oil permit policy 'foolhardy'
The Government's oil and gas exploration permit policy is ludicrous and reckless, a leading environmental lawyer says.

Dayle Takitimu, a lawyer for Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, has been at the forefront of efforts to prevent exploration in the iwi's East Coast rohe and has advocated for other iwi on environmental issues.

She is critical of the Government's permit policy.

Mr Bridges said in a statement that he did not accept Ms Takitimu's comments and the Government had built a "world-class regulatory framework" to ensure any oil and gas development was done in an environmentally responsible and safe way.

"Dayle Takitimu should also bear in mind the oil and gas industry is an important part of the New Zealand economy - it has been operating for over 45 years, and brings in over $700 million per year in royalties and taxes, which is invested back in our communities to pay for essential infrastructure like schools, hospitals and roads.".....

$1.9m to grow Maori science and innovation
Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell today announced the third annual investment in the Vision Mātauranga Science Fund, which was established to grow skills and capacity in science and innovation and support outcomes that benefit Māori and New Zealand.

"A total of $1.9 million will be invested in 17 new programmes over the next two years," Mr Joyce says. "This is in addition to the $2.4 million invested in 2013 and $1.8 million in 2014.....

‘Taniwha tax’ to get airing
Auckland’s so-called “taniwha tax’ is the topic of a discussion forum being held in Auckland this Wednesday.

It is being held by the Auckland Property Investors’ Association, Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance, Democracy Action and New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

It features a briefing paper about Auckland Council’s new Mana Whenua rules – requiring anyone seeking resource or building consents to seek reports from iwi about what Auckland Council staff call “metaphysical” heritage.

“The report will reveal to the public what some of New Zealand’s best known corporations have been saying behind closed doors, and what their PR departments may not want you to know,” is the teaser for the forum.

NZ Taxpayers' Union executive director Jordan Williams says the problem is not about consultation but about the assessments that may be required. He says they cost householders about $4000 each and more for corporations.

“Auckland Council says few are being required. The trouble is, they tell applicants they must go and ask iwi if they are required.

“They not only cost money but can also take weeks and months for the reports to be completed.

“We’ve gone through many of the submissions to the council’s long-term plan which highlight the issues.

“Even the Archaeological Association says they are not necessary to protect heritage.

“It’s all based around make-believe. You could substitute the word taniwha with Easter bunny.”

The forum will be held on level 9 of the Crombie Lockwood tower at 191 Queen St at 10.30am tomorrow (Wednesday 15th).

NZ Mainstream media can do better - Human Rights Commission
“The media play an influential role in how we understand or misunderstand each other and it’s a role that’s grown with the internet as well as our rapidly changing demographic,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.

Dame Susan says the overwhelming majority of news items were acceptable but we can do a lot better.

“We found fewer positive stories about Maori issues and conversely more negative stories written about Maori issues. It shows how inured many of us have become to negative mainstream portrayals of Maori New Zealanders and their human rights,” said Dame Susan.

“We encourage fairness, balance and excellence in reporting on all communities.”....

Can anyone lay claim to fresh water?
Maori leaders are vying for effective ownership of a share of the resource.

The Government has said it won't hand over rights to Maori forever, but it may permit regional councils to do local deals with iwi.

This of course has sent New Zealand farming community into frenzy - Federated Farmers' water spokesperson Ian Mackenzie this morning joined Paul Henry to discuss the issue.....

Māori pass rate shocks universities
Vice-chancellors say they are shocked by a big drop in the number of Māori who are making it into university.

After entrance standards were raised last year, the tāngata whenua pass rate plunged by about 20 percent from 2013 to 2014.

Universities New Zealand - Te Pōkai Tara - is worried by Qualifications Authority figures which show that in 2013, 70 percent of Year 13 students nationally gained UE, but that percentage fell to 40 percent for Māori in 2014......

Iwi on standby to stop road
Te Rūnanga o Makaawhio has come out against plans for a Haast to Hollyford road, a proposal that has been around for decades.

The rūnanga said it had sought feedback on the plan from its 3000 members; some were for but most were against.

Its tūmuaki, or general manager, Susan Wallace, said building a road to boost tourism would come at a cost.

She said her people were not convinced that the proposed benefits would outweigh the fact that the area was too special to open up.....

Tribunal backs Crown action over ancestral mountains
A Waitangi Tribunal report has told Hauraki tribes they should fix internal troubles over their rights to ancestral mountains, because it is not the Crown's role.

The recommendation follows an accusation from Ngāti Rāhiri Tumutumu that the Crown dealt unfairly with conflict within the tribal collective.

The iwi claimed that offering 1000 hectares in both Mt Te Aroha and Moehau to the tribal collective was unfair.

Ngāti Rāhiri Tumutumu wanted part or all of Mt Te Aroha to be placed in its care because it said it held the mana whenua over the maunga.....

Key scotches national water settlement, spruiks irrigation
April 14 (BusinessDesk) - Prime Minister John Key has reiterated a National-led government will not negotiate a national Treaty of Waitangi settlement over Maori claims to freshwater and will not grant claims from some Maori leaders that Maori have ownership rights to freshwater.

"There won't be a national settlement under us and there won't be change of ownership under us," Key told his weekly post-Cabinet media conference yesterday. His comments came after weekend media reports that the freshwater arm of the influential Iwi Leaders Group had commissioned a report from a Wellington economic consultancy, Sapere, that recommended a national settlement and the establishment of tradable water rights.

"There are some Maori leaders who believe that actually they own the water, iwi leaders who believe they own water and should have dedicated national allocation rights, and what I’m saying is that’s actually not the government’s position," Key said....

NZ First Opposes Special Privileges Over Water Rights
“One thing New Zealanders have learnt about the Key Government is the need for constant vigilance - in this case, against a toxic cocktail of blind ideology and naivety,” says Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“National Ministers Bill English and Nick Smith have been holding negotiations behind closed doors with the powerful Iwi Leaders Group to carve up fresh water resources.

“These discussions were forced on the Government once the Prime Minister, against the majority view, began privatising power companies whose only real asset is New Zealand’s water. Maori quickly demanded that if private interests could own our water why couldn’t they?”

Mr Peters says that like the Foreshore and Seabed, this is one more issue that arrogant National Ministers have blundered into.

“We say New Zealand’s fresh water resources are the birthright of all New Zealanders. We strongly oppose National’s deceptive, divisive, ideological and now race based policy in relation to New Zealand’s fresh water resources......

Brash warns National could face provincial revolt over water
Former National Party leader Don Brash says the party could hand NZ First a powerful election campaign if it gives Maori preferential access in fresh-water reform.

New details of the Crown's negotiations with the Iwi Leaders Group over fresh-water reform, emerged on Sunday, with signs the Government is moving towards "catchment by catchment" negotiated at a regional -government level, that could grant iwi preferential access.

Brash said the Crown appeared to be trying to stop the issue becoming a national one by passing responsibility to regional government, but he believed there was growing anger among the public at preferential deals for Maori.

Iwis bid for permanent water rights
Maori leaders are vying for effective ownership of a share of New Zealand's fresh waterways.

Iwi leaders have called for an end to the 35-year water consent renewal process in favour of permanent rights for existing consent holders – some of which are iwi – which can be traded away.

The Government has said it won't hand over rights to Maori forever, but it may permit regional councils to do local deals with iwi.

"In terms of ownership of water, the Government's position is very clear – no one owns water," Prime Minister John Key said on TV3's Paul Henry programme this morning.

"So what you're really arguing now is, do they have any use rights of water? And the answer is yeah, they may do."

But the possibility that councils may give iwi permanent rights over certain waterways is worrying Federated Farmers.

He (Federated Farmers spokesperson Ian Mackenzie) says the iwis' are also arguing for Maori rights to be in perpetuity, but not others.

Federated Farmers isn't opposed to Maori being allocated water per se, says Mr Mackenzie, just what effect it might have on existing water rights.

Mr Key says the waterways affected are "very limited", but former National Party leader Don Brash says giving councils the right to decide could backfire on the Government.

Anger at changes to springs consent
The Maori owners of Poroti Springs are angry local authorities approved variations to a resource consent at the site without consulting them.

In August last year Northland Regional Council (NRC) and Whangarei District Council (WDC) gave Zodiac Holdings Ltd approval to expand the earthworks for a commercial water bottling plant across the road from the springs.

Local hapu have fought for many years to stop the granting of permits for water from the aquifer, including through the Environment Court. Mr Ruka said it should be automatic for them to be consulted or at least notified of any processes affecting the site.

But Northland District Council monitoring manager Colin Dall said the council ticked off WDC's application for a variation on a non-notifiable basis because both councils were satisfied the effects of the earthworks would be minimal. Despite it being non-notifiable, the council told seven hapu groups about the application, Mr Dall said.....

First Pacific Whanau Ora service launched in Northland
Health, social services and education provider The Fono has launched the first Northland Pacific Whanau Ora Service at the Kaikohe Memorial Hall on Friday. Whanau Ora is an inclusive approach to providing services and opportunities to families, and the service is the first of its kind specifically for Pacific families residing in Northland. In attendance were Maori Party Co-leader and Member of Parilament Hon. Marama Fox, members of the local Pacific community and the Te Hau Ora o Kaikohe Charitable Trust.

The Fono provides affordable services including medical, dental, pharmacy, health promotion, social services, education and Whanau Ora. Bringing a Pacific Whanau Ora service to the Northland town of Kaikohe will raise the profile of Pacific people far more than locals realise, says Falesiu Fotu, The Fono’s Northland Whanau Ora Navigator.

“There are more Pacific people here than you may realise. There are a lot of mixed Maori and Pacific families and there are a lot of Pacific people living here who would like the opportunity to be part of a Pacific organisation,” says Falesiu Fotu, who worked for Te Hau Ora o Kaikohe and will remain based at their offices...

Maori in freshwater bid
MAORI LEADERS have mounted a bid for effective ownership of a share of the country's freshwater. This would allow them, and other with water rights, to onsell it to those who need water for irrigation, hydropower and other commercial uses.

The Government is adamant it will not hand over rights in perpetuity to Maori — but it may compromise by allowing regional councils to do local deals with Maori.

Farmers are worried that there will not be enough water to go around If significant quantities of freshwater are set aside for Maori.

The Crown has acknowledged Maori interests and rights in freshwater but their extent and nature is at issue.

English insisted freshwater claims would not spark a foreshore and seabed-style controversy like the one that engulfed the Clark Government.

A spokesman for the Freshwater Iwi Leaders Group would say only that the group ‘‘ continues to engage with the Crown on Iwi freshwater rights and interests.’’

Iwi leaders share water plans
The Freshwater Iwi Leadership Group is holding regional consultation hui on its negotiations with the crown over Maori interests in water.

The government is using the consultation as an excuse to defer a promised Waitangi Tribunal investigation into water issues until at least 2016.

Iwi advisor Willie Te Aho says the starting point for the iwi leaders is the tribunal’s finding that Maori rights over water at 1840 were akin to ownership.

He says they are unhappy the National Policy Statement of Freshwater Management talks of the minimum standard for water being wadeable.

"It’s not enough for our kids to be able to wade in the water. We want them to be able to put their heads underneath the water. We want them the be able to drink the water. The other aspect is ensuring there is enough water left not only for the sustenance of the water itself but for the life within the water, whether it be our tuna, our inanga, all the life in that water that is part of the ecosystem," Mr Te Aho says....

Port risking future of harbour jewel
Like thousands of Aucklanders, Ngati Whatua Orakei have been disappointed by the way Ports of Auckland has vowed to push ahead with its planned Bledisloe Wharf extensions, despite strong public opposition.

The Waitemata is a taonga tuku iho - a sacred treasure for Ngati Whatua Orakei and for all Aucklanders. It's a place of cultural and social importance. It's the gateway to our city, a treasure that needs care, for now and for our generations who follow.

Ngati Whatua Orakei has real concerns about the wider impact of the company's current direction. To us it seems short-sighted.

Previously, Ngati Whatua Orakei called for a 100-year plan for the Auckland port. We still think that is a good timeframe for consideration. It's important we look at the bigger picture before making decisions that could be difficult to unwind.....

Settlement may involve airport
A claimant group that could be offered a half-share in Hawke's Bay Airport is unlikely to want to on-sell its stake in the business, a Treaty of Waitangi settlement expert says.

Mana Ahuriri Incorporated has been offered "right of first refusal" for the government's 50 per cent shareholding in Hawke's Bay Airport Limited as part of its ongoing $20 million-plus Treaty of Waitangi claim settlement negotiations with the Crown.

"Although this might be a precedent in terms of that type of public infrastructure, it doesn't surprise me and it doesn't seem extraordinary to me in any way," he said....

Call for more Maori archaeology students
There's anecdotal evidence of tangata whenua ditching their archaeology courses for Māori studies.

And with 85 percent of archaeological sites believed to be Māori, the trend is causing some alarm in the sector.

A professor of archaeology at Otago University, Richard Walter, said it was critical for for tangata whenua to be involved.

He said there was an increasing threat on archaeological heritage - mostly coastal zones because of climate change and rising developments projects.

"Most Māori communities have a knowledge of what they might call significant sites [or] wāhi tapu, places of figure in their cultural history and stories [and] traditions.

"But those sites are only a very very small fraction of the sites that are actually present on the landscape. In order for us to really be able to make sure that these sites continue into the future, it's really important that Māori communities are aware of the full range of sites that are out there.".....

Owners consider legal action over springs
Maori trustees are considering legal action against two councils who have given planning consent for a bottling plant at Poroti Springs near Whangarei.

Auckland developer Zodiac Holdings has resource consent to take water from the aquifer that feeds Poroti Springs for export to Asia.

Whangarei District Council said there was no need to notify Zodiac's application publicly - or consult the Whatitiri Trustees - because it was simply a variation of the original land use consent.....

Pathways to further education
Ngati Hine and NorthTec have committed to provide education pathways for Ngati Hine iwi members after an educational partnership between the two was made official.

Representatives from NorthTec and Ngati Hine recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoE), Te Kimihinga, to formalise their already existing partnership.

"For Northland to thrive, Ngati Hine needs to thrive. If Ngati Hine does not thrive, then Northland will not thrive.

"One thing we're really looking into is te reo Maori courses, and it's mainly looking at the quality of te reo Maori.

Wairarapa iwi favour super city
A Wairarapa iwi authority supports the creation of a super city council for the Wellington region - a position at odds with the views of the region's local mayors.

The Local Government Commission proposes to merge all nine councils from Wellington to Kāpiti Coast and Wairarapa.

Chair of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa, P.J. Devonshire, said his rūnanga supports the move so long as the iwi voice is not diminished.....

Crown twists Maori concepts say academics
The Crown has adopted Māori concepts to fit its own agenda, Māori researchers say.

At a recent hui in Ōtaki academics, lawyers and researchers came together to discuss the meaning and usage of two important words for tāngata whenua: Mātauranga and Rangatiratanga.

One of the criticisms made was the way in which Western society uses and appropriates the terms 'tino rangatiratanga' and 'mātauranga'.

"The Crown definition is a definition that suits Crown ideas about sovereignty so they turn rangatiratanga into a subset of Crown sovereignty. I think it's deliberate and it has the unfortunate effect of muddying the waters for Māori ourselves. So that's one of the reasons why we have to remind ourselves we're the ones who must continue to define it and say what it means."

Dayle Takitimu, an indigenous rights and environmental lawyer, said the Crown had its own agenda in defining tino rangatiranga.

"The Crown has interpreted to fit within their constitutional matrix which has Parliament as sovereign and supreme and everything else subordinate to that and therefore rangatiratanga can't possibly in that mindset mean sovereignty or self-determination because that would be seen by the Crown and others to be a challenge upon their authority, and so I think they've had a vested interest in redefining it and reading it down and trying to convince us of the same.

Taranaki joins $35m training scheme
A boost to an initiative designed to get more Maori and Pasifika into the trades will benefit Taranaki students.

Employment Minister Steven Joyce has announced the expansion of the Maori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative.

As a result, Taranaki Futures, along with two Bay of Plenty providers, have joined 12 others who will co-ordinate and deliver trades training in their area.

Taranaki Futures chairman Graham Wells said it provided real benefits to the region, especially as the population aged.

"The focus on Maori and Pasifika learners is important as Maori and Pasifika populations are younger, so will represent a greater proportion of the workforce in future years," he said....

$150k budget for iwi liaison
The potential for business partnerships with local iwi is behind the Wanganui District Council's plan to increase its iwi liaison budget.

The prospect of multimillion-dollar Treaty settlements being reached with three iwi has seen the council budget $150,000 for cultural advice each year over the next 10 years in its draft 10-year plan.

That figure represents an increase of $124,000 per year on previous years.....

Crown's Maori oilman joins private firm
The government's first Maori oil envoy has jumped ship and joined a private oil company.

Pieri Munro is now representing Mont D'or Petroleum.

The former police superintendent was appointed iwi relationships manager in 2011, and travelled the country in an attempt to get tribes on side with the Crown's plans for firms to search for fossil fuels....

Maori call for totara protection in Takaka
Māori in Golden Bay are calling for more protection of ancient indigenous trees in the rohe to stop them from being felled without consultation.

An environmental group has been demanding action by the Tasman District Council to stop 100-year old totara being felled in the Takaka Valley to make way for dairy farming and irrigation systems.

Now, the umbrella entity for the three Māori Trusts in Golden Bay who act as kaitiaki (guardians) for the rohe: Ngāti Tama, Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Rārua, have raised concerns about the felling.

Manawhenua ki Mohua's kaumatua, John Ward-Holmes, said manawhenua only hear on the grapevine once totara trees are felled.

"It's very sad, but if a farmer is not going to be fined, or there's no regulations in place to ensure that they're not cut down, the farmer is going to do whatever they want."

Mr Ward-Holmes said manawhenua would prefer the 100-year old trees to stay put if possible, but if they can't be kept, they would like the opportunity to use the wood for customary purposes.......

Call for heads to roll at More FM
A call has gone out for heads to roll at More FM as a result of the radio station’s latest photoshop joke that has gone viral and that belittled some of the most respected performers in New Zealand’s kapa haka circle.

“They are a bunch of thieving, silly and stupid people who need to get their heads inspected, perhaps even drug tested,” said Willie Te Aho of Aotearoa Kapa Haka Ltd which manages copyright issues over images taken of performances at Te Matatini - Aotearoa’s prestigious Maori performing arts festival.

“More FM never asked for permission to use our images. Then they have a cheek to steal them then chop a few heads off, skewer and bend them.

“I’m disgusted with how More FM deginerated kapa haka and the mana of performers from Te Whanau A Apanui.....

Rangitaane iwi calls wants sewage ponds lined
An iwi group has laid down a $2 million challenge to Palmerston North City Council to take more responsibility for looking after the environment.

Tanenuiarangi Manawatu Inc, a group mandated to speak for Rangitaane, is insisting the council put synthetic liners in the Ashhurst sewage ponds which are used to hold wastewater before it is pumped to the Totara Rd treatment plant.

The council stopped discharging Ashhurst's wastewater to the Manawatu River in June last year after a $4.6 million pipeline project to connect to the city's sewer mains

Water and waste services manager Rob Green said council staff thought there was an agreement with Tanenuiarangi to monitor the ponds for three years to find out whether there was any seepage that showed lining was necessary.

It was "a little bit of a bombshell" to find its stance now was that it would resist a new consent being granted to allow the council to continue discharging to the ponds unless it undertook to do the lining anyway, Green said.......

Kauri in way of bridge upgrade
The so-called Darby and Joan Bridge in the Waipoua kauri forest is on the list of 10 one-way bridges to be upgraded - an announcement National made during the Northland by-election.

Te Roroa Treaty settlement negotiator Gary Hooker said no one from National asked what iwi thought.

He said if they had, they would have discovered the bridge was flanked by two iconic kauri.

"The only way it could be done, as far as I can see, is for one or both of the trees to be moved, which in itself could be quite an undertaking," Mr Hooker said.

"There's no way we would agree to that."

The government is obliged to consult the iwi about anything affecting the Waipoua kauri forest, under the Te Roroa agreement.

Taranaki tribes eye ancestral mountain
Now that a Taranaki tribe has settled its Treaty claim including receiving a Crown apology, it says it will meet with its neighbours to discuss a collective claim over Mount Taranaki.

Chair of Ngāruahine, Dr Will Edwards, said it brings the eight Taranaki tribes closer to making a collective claim over Mount Taranaki.

Lead Treaty negotiator Daisy Noble presented a gift, a portrait of Te Rere o Kapuni, or Dawson Falls to the Minister of Treaty Negotiations, Chris Finlayson, which symbolises the tribe's desire to claim back their ancestral mountain.....

Te Reo plan 'overlooks' urban Maori
Urban tangata whenua are being overlooked in the Government's plans for a new agency to lead the kaitiakitanga of Te Reo, the Māori Language Commission says.

It also says dialects are not being given enough attention, in the drive to put the guardianship of the language under a mostly iwi-led group called Te Matawai.

The opinions are contained in a Māori Affairs Select Committee review of the Māori Language Commission.

The Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has refused to comment on the Commission's views, or explain how the proposed strategy would be inclusive of urban Māori....

Call for national day to remember all NZ Land Wars
As the country takes a break over the Easter holiday, a few Māori MPs are turning their thoughts to support another national holiday in remembrance of the NZ Land Wars.

A petition has been established calling for all land wars to be commemorated with a national day and the signatures have almost reached the level needed to present it to Parliament....

Govt announces expansion of Māori and Pasifika Trades Training
Today the Government announced the expansion of the Māori and Pasifika Trades Training initiative. Three new consortia have joined the 12 providers who are already with the programme.

Last year, 12 groups were chosen to provide training in the Hawke's Bay, East Coast, Auckland, Northland, Canterbury, Rotorua, Waikato and Wellington.

Now, three more groups have been added to give trades training to Taranaki and the Bay of Plenty.

Ultimately, the initiative aims to support young Māori and Pasifika people and assist them in gaining qualifications, apprenticeships and employment in trades......

Maori Spectrum Trust brings on heavy hitters
As part of the establishment of the Te Huarahi Tika, the Crown provided preferential rights to radio frequency spectrum with a $5 million cash contribution. Subsequently, the Hautaki Trust was formed as the entity which used the funds to secure international investment of over $350M for the establishment of our third mobile network, 2 Degrees Mobile. As well as its own shares in the Company, Hautaki holds in trust shares held by both the Tūaropaki Trust and Wairarapa Moana Inc.

Input wanted on electoral system
Public input is being sought as an independent panel works to overhaul the Dunedin City Council's electoral system.

The panel, headed by Associate Prof Janine Hayward, a political studies lecturer, has called for public input on the future size and shape of the system.

That could include whether the city had the right number of councillors, wards and community boards, the need for guaranteed Maori representation and the system used to elect each......

Rural dole can build traditional communities
An economic historian is calling for the benefit system to become more flexible to allow people to function within traditional subsistence economies.

Keith Rankin from Unitec was responding to a challenge from Mana leader Hone Harawira that the Abbott Government’s removal of support from remote Australian Aboriginal communities was similar to Work and Income’s policy of not paying benefits to Maori who return to their home rural villages.....

Forgotten iwi step closer to deal
A Hawke's Bay iwi divorced from its land since a dodgy Crown purchase and the Omarunui and Petane massacres of 1866 hopes a Treaty settlement signed on Thursday will bring some closure to grief and suffering dating back more than a century and a half.

Originally based in the Te Haroto and Tarawera - now midway on the Napier-Taupo highway - Ngati Hineuru signed a Deed of Settlement with the Crown in an emotional ceremony at the Beehive in Wellington on Thursday.

All that remains is an act of Parliament for the completion of the deal which, in land, assets, cash and cultural redress, is valued at more than $25 million.....

Te Arawa seeks new partnership model
Rotorua Pro-Democracy says they acknowledge Te Arawa as mana whenua but the current proposal to give Te Arawa Standing Committee the right to vote for non-elected members to sit on important boards within the Rotorua Council is not right.

However, the Chair of the Te Arawa Standing Committee, Arapeta Tahana says what they are trying to achieve relates back to the Treaty of Waitangi and hopes Rotorua Pro-Democracy can sit down with his group.

Mr Tahana says, “They should approach us so we can sit as one and understand what they really don't like about the proposal. The reason behind this, is so all people who live here in the Rotorua region are joined as one.”

Submissions on the Te Arawa Partnership proposal closes on the 17th of this month.

Northland councils accused of racism

A Northland hapu is criticising local councils for failing to tell them about plans for a water-bottling plant that could pollute their waters.

Auckland developer Zodiac Holdings has long-standing approval to take water from aquifers that feed Poroti Springs, west of Whangarei.

Last year, the company gained consent from the Whangarei District Council to double the size of its planned factory.

The local hapu, who are the legal owners of the springs, said the Northland Regional Council also just approved earthworks and stormwater discharges from the plant that could pollute the Springs.....

Taupo sites form part of settlement
A range of reserves, historic places, cultural sites and scenic spots around the Taupo district will be transferred to Ngati Tuwharetoa when a settlement between the iwi and the Crown goes ahead.

Those include sites at Huka Falls, the Taupo Landing Reserve in Ferry Rd, the Tongariro National Trout Centre, Craters of the Moon, Tokaanu Thermal Recreation Reserve and the Taupo Courthouse Historic Reserve.

The settlement includes free and full public access to all but part of one site at Five Mile Bay Recreation Reserve, and existing third party interests will be maintained.

The agreement in principle also proposes renaming some of the features in the Ngati Tuwharetoa rohe, subject to agreement of both parties and the New Zealand Geographic Board.

That would include renaming Mission Bay to Otaiatoa, Bulli Point to Te Poporo, and Cherry Island to Motutahae.....


Iwi offered Airport share
The claimant group that lobbied for the region's airport to be renamed Ahuriri Airport Hawke's Bay could become a half-owner of the facility through its treaty settlement.

Mana Ahuriri Incorporated has been offered "right of first refusal" for the government's 50 per cent shareholding in Hawke's Bay Airport Limited as part of its ongoing $20 million-plus Treaty of Waitangi claim settlement negotiations with the Crown.

Asked if the group was interested in taking up the airport share offer, Mana Ahuriri deputy chairman Piri Prentice said yesterday it was too early to say because negotiations were continuing.

If Mana Ahuriri were to pick up the Crown's half of the airport - worth several million dollars - it would become a joint owner with Napier City Council and Hastings District Council which have 26 per cent and 24 per cent stakes respectively......

Māori Standing Committee concerned Wairoa iwi have no say in local survey
A telephone-based survey seeking views on the proposed amalgamation of Hawke’s Bay authorities has generated concern from the Māori Standing Committee of the Wairoa District Council.

The Committee believes the independent survey breaches the Treaty of Waitangi by denying Wairoa iwi the ability to participate and the concerns raised have been forwarded to the Local Government Commission (LGC).....

Iwi's water dispute with council ongoing
Ngāti Kahungunu says its litigation of its regional council is not a good example of what a partnership should look like.

The tribe took Hawke's Bay Regional Council to the Environment Court over fears officials would allow contaminants to run into the Heretaunga and Ruataniwhā aquifers.

The iwi won the case, meaning the council can not abandon its responsibility to maintain water quality.

The chair of the tribe Ngahiwi Tomoana said he was disappointed the iwi had to end up in court when they would prefer to sit at the decision-making table with local authorities......

NZ slipping in human rights issues - report
A new report warns New Zealand's poor handling of human rights issues and Parliament's failure to act is harming the country's reputation.

Co-author and former Parliament Speaker, Margaret Wilson, said the report highlighted serious faults in areas such as child poverty, gender equality, systematic disadvantage of Maori and disabled people's rights.

She said there needed to be more focus on how the country implements recommendations made by the United Nations.

The report, which has made 13 recommendations, has also suggested a more proactive role for the Maori Affairs Select Committee in helping to close inequality gaps....

Iwi hails water win over council
Iwi authority Ngati Kahungunu is celebrating an Environment Court decision it says is a victory over Hawke's Bay Regional Council's attempts to reduce water-quality standard provisions for the region's aquifers.

In a decision on Friday, the Environment Court sided with Ngati Kahungunu, saying its bid to retain the objectives was in keeping with the provisions of the Resource Management Act.

"To not aspire and attempt to at least maintain the quality of water abdicates the functions of a regional council," Judge Craig Thompson and commissioners Kevin Prime and Anne Leijnen said in their judgment.

Ngati Kahungunu chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana said the decision was pleasing after the iwi had spent more than $100,000 and months preparing the challenge.....

Ngāti Hineuru to sign settlement worth nearly $50mil
Located in the Te Haroto region on the Napier-Taupo Road, Ngāti Hineuru is looking forward to meeting with the Crown tomorrow.

This also means that after more than 170 years, that Ngāti Hineuru will be officially recognised as an iwi.

The settlement is worth approximately $50 million.

Ngāti Hineuru negotiated a $25 million quantum, and a $2 million cultural fund as well as $15,000 to erect pouwhenua in their district.

The iwi will also receive a portion of the Esk Forest. Hineuru will receive a further sum of $16 million for the redress in the Central North Island Agreement.

“For a small iwi of only 1500 registered members, this is a very large settlement. Per capita, we understand that the value of our settlement is one of the highest,” says Tuhuiao Kahukiwa, Chair of Ngati Hineuru Iwi Incorporated.....