• This week oil Company TAG Oil announced that their partner, Apache New Zealand, are pulling out of the first phase of a joint oil exploration area located on the North Island’s East Coast (TAG will continue alone). This announcement follows Brazilian Oil Company Petrobras decision to exit its oil exploration activities in New Zealand and return their oil permit in December.
• Last week Te Pūtea Whakatupu Trust announced an extension to its scholarship programmes, and is now offering 50 Māori tertiary education scholarships for 2013. (The Trust was established as a part of the Māori fisheries settlement.) The scholarships are for $10,000 each. (Application details are on their website.)
• A Māori language strategy focused on increasing the use of Te Reo across the Wairoa District was launched in December. Several groups and organisations were involved in the strategy’s development, namely Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Ngāti Kahungunu o te Wairoa, Te Kura Motuhake o Te Ataarangi, and the Human Rights Commission
• Tupoho Whānau Trust, Whanganui, has agreed to the Whanganui District Council building a recycling facility on Māori-owned land. The facility will employ up to 40 people.
• In December National Party MP Tau Henare withdrew his candidacy bid to become Speaker of the House. • Māori Party co-leader Tariana Turia announced she will retire from politics and not stand in the 2014 General Election. Her co-leader, Dr Sharples, has indicated he has no plans to retire at present.
Appointments and Honours awarded
• Mike Sang has been appointed Chief Executive of Ngāi Tahu Group Holdings.
• Miriama Evans, Dr Rawinia Higgins, Hon Paul Swain and Nick Davidson have all been appointed to the Waitangi Tribunal. Each appointee will serve a three year term from 1 January 2013.
2013 New Year’s Honours’ list recipients for Service to Māori were:
Knights Companion (KNZM);
- Mark Solomon Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)
Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)
- Hohi Kaa
- Professor Linda Tuhiwai Te Rina Smith
Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)
- Henare Tau
Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)
- Dr David Taylor
Queens Service Medal (QSM)
- Gregory Makutu
- Senior Constable John Tangaere
- Patrick Thompson