Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Tainui looking for good faith on Landcorp sales

Tainui chairperson Tukoroirangi Morgan says the Crown needs to show good faith to Hauraki claimants and withdraw a Landcorp block on the Coromandel from sale.

Mr Morgan joined other representatives of Tainui waka tribes at the occupation of the Whenuakite Station near Whitianga yesterday.

Landcorp says it will not accept any tender for the 11 hundred hectare farm until consulting with stakeholding ministers.

Mr Morgan says that gives the Government to do the right thing and safeguard the only lare Crown property on that coast which can be used for the settlement.

“It is the 3000 acres. It is the last bit of land that contains sites of significance and also pa sites, and it’s on that basis that Hauraki and Taiunui waka are united to seek some assurances from the Crown not to proceed with the sale,.” Mr Morgan says.

He says the other iwi of the Tainui waka will join with Hauraki in seeking a meeting with stakeholding ministers to discuss the issue.

500 SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MAORI MEDICOS

The Health Ministry is offering up to 500 scholarships for people studying this year in the Maori health and disability area.

Associate minister Mita Ririnui says the annual Hauora Maori scholarship programme attracts more applications than there is funding, because more young Maori are keen to take up careers in health.

Mr Ririnui says there is also a trend to more people studying health management or taking post graduate study, a sign that Maori are aspiring to a wider range of roles.

He says the drive for the scholarships came from the Maori health sector itself.

“There's been a strong push by Maori health provider networks around the country to invest in developing Maori who can move into this very important part of the social sector. They’re pushing for stronger focus on development within the workforce. The scholarships are there to encourage that,” Mr Ririnui says.

There will be as lot of interest in the two John McLeod Scholarships, which offer 10 thousand dollars to applicants who have achieved outstanding academic success in Mâori health.

MAORI RUGBY THREE WAY TOURNEY ON

The rivalry between the three regions for Maori rugby supremacy will be renewed over the next few weeks.

The South Island picked its Te Waipounamu 15 after last weekend's tournament in Timaru.

Maori rugby coach Donny Stevenson says as soon as the other teams are picked, the competition will be all on.

“The central, Te Tini, play their tournament in Palmerston North on Friday and Saturday, and Te Hiku o Te Ika play their tournament at Waitemata on Saturday Sunday, and each of those regions will pick the tournament teams, and they will play one another over the next three weeks,” Mr Stevenson says.

This year's inter-regional battle takes on special significance because of the national Maori team's trip to England in May to defend the Churchill Cup.

WHANGANUI COURTHOUSE RETURNED TO IWI

Whanganui Maori will today become owners of the town's courthouse.
The court is built on part of the Pakaitore block, which the iwi says they never sold and was an important gathering place for the river tribes.

It's next to Moutoa Gardens, which was occupied for 79 days in 1995 and brought Tariana Turia to national prominence.

Another Pakaitore protest veteran, Ken Mair, says the return comes after more than a decade of negotiation.

He says it's a step in the right direction, as the iwi seeks to reclaim its land base and look after its river.

“The courthouse will be leased from us for the next 10 years at least and we’ll receive rent and the trust that’s set up, made up of descendants of the Whanganui River, they will decide how that rent is utilised for the future wellbeing of us as an iwi and more importantly for the land and the river,” Mr Mair says.

There will be a powhiri for Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia and other officials at Moutoa Gardens at 10, followed by the signing of the Deed of On-account Settlement and a special sitting of the Maori Land Court to effect the deal.

SCHOOL FIGHTS FOR SPECIAL FUNDING

Opononi School is fighting to get teacher aide funding restored for a pupil suffering a range of complications due to renal failure.

Principal Tiere Moati says the Education Ministry claims seven year old Levi no longer fits the criteria.

Ms Moati says without an aide Levi cannot stay at school, but the ministry won't spell out what the funding criteria is.

“To be told that you don’t meet the criteria makes one wonder how one sets that criteria in terms of when death is the ultimate, surely that's a high need,” Ms Moati says.

KING COUNTRY MARAE CELEBRATES CENTURY

Whanau who whakapapa to Kahotea Marae near Otorohanga have been sprucing up their marae for a special birthday.

Their meeting house Whatihua turns 100 this weekend.

Organising committee spokesperson Hazel Wonder says the whare fell into disrepair after people moved away for work in the 1950s and 60s, but has been restored in recent years.

She says the northern King Country hapu traces back to the Waikato settlement of Rangiawhia, which was sacked during the land wars.

“Towards the end of the 1800s when they had the burning at Rangiawhia, the tupunas escaped that burning and came and settled here and so it’s their descendants who will be coming back here this weekend,” Ms Wonder says.

A highlight of the hui will be the launch of a commemorative book on Whatihua.

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