Thursday, April 05, 2007

Locking up sea wrong answer for Ngati Toa

Ngati Toa Rangatira chief executive Matiu Rei says alternatives to be found to marine reserves.

The Porirua-based tribe has seen many of its traditional fishing grounds eyed as potential reserves.

Mr Rei told this week's Maori Fisheries Conference in Napier that reserves fail to take into account the longstanding relationships between Maori people and the sea.

He wants to see serious discussion on alternatives to the Marine Reserves Act.

“It's quite a draconian piece of legislation and it offers very very little options except to lock everything up. I don’t think that is about sustaining the resources of Tangaroa at all,” Mr Rei says.


A kaupapa Maori sexual health worker says the high chlamydia rate among Maori is a threat to whakapapa.

Karanga Morgan, the executive director of Te Puawai Tapu, says it's cause for alarm that Maori have the highest teenage fertility rates in New Zealand, making this country second in the OECD for teen pregnancies.

Ms Morgan says the rate of sexually transmitted infections among young Maori is even more alarming than the unplanned pregnancies, because chlamydia can lead to sterility.

“If our young people are not encouraged to have protection, to take protection, to make use of protection, condom and lube go hand in hand, that sort of message, we will see a population decline within Maori within the next 20 to 30 years,” Ms Morgan says.


Maori round the country are on the move for the Easter weekend of festivals and hui.

Ngai Tuhoe will be heading for the bi-annual Ahurei festival in Ruatoki.

And Maori Catholics are off to Wanganui for the 60th Hui Aranga, a weekend of speechmaking, sports, kapa haka and of course prayer.

Kaiwhaiki kaumatua Morvin Simon says such festivals were started as a way for Maori communities to hang on to their culture.

“This was with a view to ensuring that in the same way Tuhoe makes sure their peole know their karakia, their waiata, and all that sort of thing, it’s the same sort of thing here with our faith as well. People are trying to get around some of those things they are able to enhance a bit better,” Mr Simon says.

Between two and three thousand performers and supporters are expected a Cullinane College for the Hui Aranga.


Victoria and Waikato Universities are launching a three year research project to find out why more Maori women are going into Tertiary education than men.

Paul Callister from Victoria University's Institute of Policy Studies says the pattern of behaviour starts at primary and secondary schools, when Maori pupils are more likely to truant and to leave without qualifications.

Dr Callister says the gender gap in education has a knock on effect on the labour market and the Maori economy.

“And the problem is in a society where increasing skill levels are needed to get even the basic jobs, if the men are not going into tertiary education at those levels or increasing pretty dramatically, then quite a few of those men are going to face life long problems in terms of work,” Dr Callister says

The $1.7 million study will also look at how male educational achievement could be improved.


Indigenous rights lawyer Moana Jackson says the government still doesn't understand the nature of Maori fishing rights.

Mr Jackson says the proposed shared fisheries policy seems to put recreational fishers above other users of the resource.

The issue dominated much of the discussion at this week's Maori fisheries conference in Napier.

Mr Jackson says the assumption is that all New Zealanders have a right to fish, but in fact that is a privilege that is dependent on Maori rights being upheld.

“In order to increase the take for recreational fishers, effectively the Crown is taking away some of the hard fought quota that our people have regained in the last 20 years. There’s a fundamental injustice in the proposed process in that the Crown is robbing Maori to allow other recreational fishers to do what they like,” Mr Jackson says.

He says the phrase "all New Zealanders" doesn't seem to take Maori into account.


A senior Maori Anglican cleric says Easter has lost its relevance for many Maori.

Hone Kaa from Saint John's Theological College says only 6 percent of New Zealanders regularly attend church, and that lack of interest is being felt in Maori congregations as well.

Reverend Kaa says churches used to be centres for Maori community activity, but the drift to the cities has led to a drift away from the churches.

“Circumstances have all changes in that 40 or 50 years. Whereas at one time we were 90 percent rural people, now we are 90 percent urbanised. People have struggled to survive in the city. There are so many things they have to do in order to live. Religion kind of gets set to one side, and it only ever pops its head up when it’s what they call the hatch ‘em, match ‘em and dispatch ‘em department, and that's about it,” Reverend Kaa says.


Blogger MatthewWilliams said...

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7:46 AM  
Blogger Tutahanga said...

Kia ora Adam,
I enjoy reading your commentary - right from the days nga korero o te wa was a folded piece of A3 paper. Thanks for the hard work - Kia kaha tonu mai

8:56 PM  
Blogger julia f. Baca said...

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7:33 AM  

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