New Zealand's Whanganui River granted legal status as a person after 170-year battle

The Whanganui River, which flows 145 kilometres from the central North Island to the sea, was given legal personhood by the country's parliament on Wednesday.

The river is a sacred and revered waterway to New Zealand's Maori Iwi people and its interests will now be represented by an Indigenous group.

It will be jointly represented by a member appointed by the Maori community, and one appointed by the government.

The country's Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson said the passing of the Te Awa Tupua Bill was a battle hard fought for.

Treaty of Waitangi to be published in 30 languages

Both the Māori and English versions of the treaty have been translated into the 30 languages and also New Zealand's sign language by the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters.

The translations will be published in a book called Treaty Times Thirty and gifted to the New Zealand public at the end of this month.

The project's spokesperson, Stefan Grand-Meyer said the project celebrated the society in its 30th year and involved nearly 150 translators and reviewers who worked on the translations.

Maori, Pacific women smokers less physically dependent on tobacco

Smokers completed three questionnaires - one at the "baseline" entry to the study and the others after two of the Government's annual 10 per cent tobacco tax rises.

The quit-smoking rate, at 14 per cent, was the same for the Maori/Pacific and NZ European/other ethnic groupings.

Participants were analysed only in those two ethnic groupings, because there were few Maori and Pacific men and women in the study.

Mobile app latest step in Cook Islands Māori resurgence

The Māori Dictionary app was launched last week by the Prime Minister, Henry Puna, who recalled a time when he would have been caned for speaking the native tongue at school.

But he says the language is now seeing a resurgence, with increased efforts to preserve Cook Islands Māori and get more people speaking the language.

The project was led by Anonga Tisam, which was awarded a grant to develop a database of Māori words two years ago.

NZ construction firms urged to up jobs for Pasifika

Employers gathered in Auckland today to hear about a trades training programme aimed at plugging a predicted labour shortage in the construction and infrastructure sectors.

It is estimated 32,000 jobs will be generated in the next three to five years in New Zealand.

Auckland's Mayor Len Brown says the initiative will help address the high number of unemployed Maori and Pasifika people and boost the city's economy.