WELLINGTON, July 15: Representatives from the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development and the Sarawak Native Court have been in New Zealand since Saturday to study its agricultural sector and Maori Land Court and Laws.
Amongst other destinations, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas who is leading the group of 36 officials from Sarawak, is scheduled to pay a visit to the Meat Industry Association and on Wednesday (July 17) they will leave for Hamilton to visit Dairy NZ Limited Farm, the Livestock Improvement Corporation, Turners and Grower Global Limited Farm.
“Our Sarawak Native Court officials who are here will also learn from the Maori Land Court (MLC) Office and the Waitangi Tribunal (WT) Unit in dealing with Maori land in New Zealand,” Uggah said in a statement after a briefing by officials during the Sarawak group’s visit to MLC office and WT Unit at Fujitsu Tower earlier today.
The one-day briefing of the roles and the responsibilities of the MLC and WT were given by Deputy Chief Judge Caren Fox, Judge Patrick Savage, Judge Damian Stone and Judicial Administrator Francis Cook.
Uggah also revealed that the state of Sarawak is currently in the process of transforming the Sarawak Native Court.
He hoped that Native Court officials from Sarawak will gain some experience with MLC and WT during their working visit.
Uggah who was reqesuted to give the early part of his speech in Iban said in jest that it was the first time that he had spoken in the Iban language to a group that did not understand even a word.
He thanked the judges, senior officials and staff for giving them the unique Maori welcome, conducted in the Maori language.
Earlier before the briefing, the Sarawak visitors were welcomed by Fox, Cook and other members of the MLC and WT, and accorded a Maori “Powhiri”( traditional) welcome which included the “Karanga” (calling by a female staff member of MLC/WT), the “Karakia” (prayer by a male staff), the “Waikorea”(welcoming speech in English by Judge Damien Stone) and then the “Hongi” (greeting) on arrival.
Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Seri Micheal Manyin and Minister for Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah are among those in the Sarawak group.
Others are Assistant Minister for Native Laws And Customs Datuk John Sikie Tayai, acting State Secretary Datu Jaul Samion, his deputy Datu Ik Pahon, Native Court of Sarawak president Datu Thomas Akin, its Chief Registrar Datu Micheal Dawi and Deputy State Legislative Assembly speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala and MPs Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar and Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi.
Members of the Sarawak delegation also include senior officers from the Ministry of Modernisation of Agriculture, Native Land and Regional Development, State Finance Office, State Attorney General Office and Sarawak Veterinary Services Department.
Tomorrow (July 16), the Sarawak Native Court officials led by Manyin will leave for Gisborne to see the MLC operations including a tour of court buildings and other related programmes.
Meanwhile Uggah will also lead his group to pay courtesy calls on New Zealand’s Minister of Primary Industries Damien O’Connor and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Winston Raymond on Tuesday.
The Malaysian Ambassador to New Zealand Wong Mee Choo was present during the visit to the MLC and WT headquarters. — DayakDaily