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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Land sale rethink far reaching

Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta says the Government's rethink on the sale of Landcorp properties will have far reaching effects.

State-owned Enterprises Minister Trevor Mallard yesterday postponed the sales of Landcorp properties in the far north and Coromandel Peninsula while Landcorp's sale process is reviewed.

The Whenuakite Station, is in Ms Mahuta's electorate, is occupied by Hauraki claimants.

Ms Mahuta says the dispute highlighted some flaws in the current system.

“It's made people focus on what important issues that involve Mari, that involve public holding of Crown lands, but also the main aim is to ensure we can have a good treaty negotiation settlement process,” Ms Mahuta says.

She says while there is a role for protest, more can be achieved from people sitting around the table talking to each other.

NEW CHIEF EXEC FOR LANGUAGE COMMISSION ROKX

The new chief executive of the Maori language commission says she wants te reo to be understood, even if it may not follow all the rules laid down by earlier generations.

The commission has come under fire from some older native speakers who say they can't understand the Maori it promotes.

Huhana Rokx comes to the job from Learning Media, where she was manager of Maori publications.

She trained as a kindergarten teacher and worked in kohanga reo before taking on policy and management roles with the Early Childhood Development Unit.

Ms Rokx says as someone who has raised her own children to speak Maori, she understands the challenges facing the next generation of speakers.

“Things need to evolve and languages change and I’m not saying that’s a special directive of the commission but we need be able to present a language which is going to be understandable and workable for our children that perhaps may not have been in common usage in te reo Maori communally,” Ms Rokx says.

TASER TRIAL SHOWING PREJUDICE

The Green's police spokesperson says first results from the taser trial shows Maori and Pacific Island communities were justified in their alarm about the new stun guns.

Police told a parliamentary committee this week that that 20 of the 32 people confronted by tasers in the first three months of the trial were Maori or Pacific Islanders.

While police said this was not evidence of unfair targeting, Keith Locke says the numbers speak for themselves.

“There is a big racial bias there and it is of concern and one of the reasons I think why the Maori and Pacific Island community in particular where a bit worried is they thought they might be the targets, and no one likes having 50,000 volts put through them, and to me it disrupts relations with the community,” Mr Locke says.

OCCUPATION CALL NAÏVE

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says the Maori Party's call for iwi to occupy disputed lands shows a lack of judgment.

Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell made the call in response to occupations of Landcorp farms in Northland and Coromandel by Waitangi claimants.

Mr Horomia says the history of individual land blocks can be complex, and it's best for Maori to work through established procedures like the Waitangi Tribunal and the Maori Land Court.

He says the occupations can cause unnecessary strife among iwi and hapu.

“I think it's reasonably naïve because the point is you will then get hapu protesting against hapu on who should occupy and who shouldn’t, and it is complex, so it’s too easy to say let’s all protest if we can’t get our way,” Mr Horomia says.

Maori have grown beyond the type of behaviour advocated by the Maori Party.

DURIE BACKS TREATY COMMISSIONER

Former Waitangi Tribunal chairperson Eddie Durie has endorsed the idea of a Treaty Commissioner.

The idea has gained little traction in government circles since it was floated by Maori Party MP Hone Harawira at this year's Waitangi Day celebrations,

Justice Durie says the government has given the Waitangi Tribunal some funding for treaty education.

He says that hasn't been effective, because the education role could compromise the Tribunal's impartiality.

“So you can't be proslytising and advocating a position or performing in an educative function if you also have to decide particular cases that come up before you because you could be prejudicing your position, so it does need to be managed by an independent person or body of some kind,” Judge Durie says.

A treaty commissioner could lead public debate on issues like the dropping of the Treaty of Waitangi from the school curriculum and the bill to remove references to treaty principles from all legislation.

MAORI LAND HOPE FOR HYDRO

Te Kuiti-based Clearwater Hydro is looking to Maori landowners for new power generation sites.

Generation manager Laurence Best says the company is hiring an iwi liaison officer and considering joint ventures with Maori landowners.
Clearwater is building a one megawatt scheme on the Waikohu River on the East Coast.

Mr Best says it's the type of development which could suit Maori lands.

“We believe from just the information we’ve gathered so far that there is a lot of iwi-owned land with small scheme potential on it which the bigger generators, the Mighty River Powers and that, are not interested in. They’re not interested in doing small schemes,” Mr Best says.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Lilli said...

Good words.

3:54 AM  

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