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  • Ashleigh Putt-Fallows

Māori & Pasifika News: Critique of France at Pacfic Islands Forum, Whakaata Māori Cuts, Rangatahi Speak Out at National Kapa Haka Competition

Words by Ashleigh Putt-Fallows (she/her/ia) Ngāti Whātua | Ngāpuhi-Ngāti Hine, Tūhoe

Pacific Islands Forum Critique France over Kanaky

The Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) has expressed deep concern over the ongoing unrest in Kanaky (New Caledonia), criticizing France's handling of the crisis. Despite increased French security measures, the territory continues to face violence, arson, and roadblocks. PIF Secretary-General Baron Waqa highlighted the arrest of pro-independence leaders and raised concerns about militarization. Dialogue efforts are underway, with PIF aiming to engage Paris ahead of the upcoming leaders' meeting in Tonga. Critics, such as Dr. Meg Keen, advocate for a regional police approach under the Biketawa Declaration to ease tensions. The situation remains tense amidst fears of further escalation and upcoming elections in France.

Whakaata Māori Cuts 

Whakaata Māori is undergoing a structural review following the announcement of a significant funding decrease totaling $9.5 million by 2027. Kaihoe were informed of the financial challenges during a hui last week, where CEO Shane Taurima highlighted baseline funding since 2008 as a major factor. Taurima emphasized the need to cut costs by 25 percent to accommodate future inflation, warning that content may be impacted. The organization, pivotal in revitalizing te reo Māori through its programming, faces uncertain times with ongoing funding disparities in the media sector. 

Rangatahi Make Bold Statement at National Kapa Haka Competition

A number of rōpū at the national secondary school Kapa Haka competition in Nelson have used Haka to make bold statements around the ongoing attacks on Te Tiriti o Waitangi. NZ First deputy leader accused tutors and composers of using children to attack Māori politicians and misrepresent government policies. However, Reikura Kahi, co-chair of Te Mātāwai, defended the Haka, stating, “the new generation is more politically astute then politicians give them credit for” and “it's a response to the treaty being under threat”. 


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