Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Vulnerability, not violence the issue

June 27
A former chief social worker says Maori aren't inherently more violent than other groups, but Maori children are disproportionately the victims of physical abuse.

Mike Doolan has been researching child killings in New Zealand during the 1990s, and found 52 percent of the 91 children who died were Maori.

But he says baseline research on child violence done in the 1970s showed there was no difference in between Maori and other ethnic groups when it came to the incidence of physical violence against children.

Mr Doolan says questions need to be asked about what has made Maori children more vulnerable over the past 30 years.

“If you were following the literature you would be looking at things like income levels, like employment levels, like the degree to which mental health and dependency issues are present, and seeing if there is an increase in these in families. Rather than an increased tendency to kill, there is an increased vulnerability brought about by these conditions,” Doolan said.


Tauranga kaumatua Colin Bidois says the community is rallying around after his Pyes Pa home burned down.

The chairman of Te Runanga o Tauranga Moana and a leader of Ngati Ranginui, says the sound of the fire woke him at midnight Sunday, and he was just able to get his wife and son out of the house before flames consumed it.

Mr Bidois, says he lost many precious books and photographs, but was just thankful no lives were lost.

Colin Bidois says he won't let the fire stop him attending the final Waitangi Tribunal hearing of the Tauranga claims next week.


One of the country's leading kapa haka groups is celebrating 25 years in the business.

Auckland- based Waka Huia is three times national champion and a runners up on numerous occasions.

Founder Ngapo Wehi says he's lost count of the people from different iwi who have competed for Waka Huia and learnt their skills in the hours of dedicated practice required for a winning performance.

Ngapo Wehi says anyone who has been a member or associated with Waka Huia is invited to the anniversary ball at Sky City this weekend.


Te Arawa people are mourning the loss of one of their most prominent kuia.

Bubbles Mihinui, or Guide Bubbles as she was known, died in Rotorua yesterday aged 86.

Rotorua deputy mayor Trevor Maxwell says the kuia touched the lives of thousands of visitors to Whakarewarewa over the years.

She started guiding in 1936 and became senior guide in 1970, on the death of Guide Rangi.

Guide Bubbles was made a distinguished companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit four years ago.

Mr Maxwell says she was a major presence in the community.


Prime Minister Helen Clark says a lot of community work will be needed to overcome the kind of problems which resulted in the death of twin babies Cru and Chris Kahui.

Ms Clark says when there was a cluster of similar tragedies in the Wairarapa, a lot of work was done with the community to prevent further incidents.

She says that kind of focus may be needed in South Auckland, but on the current evidence, it won't be easy to get through to the Kahui whanau.


Maori Language Commission chief executive Haami Piripi is calling for Matariki or the Maori New Year to be recognised as a national holiday.

Mr Piripi who says it's about time New Zealand had an indigenous public holiday.

He says Te Ao Maori or the Maori world is about balance and the recognition of Matariki will contribute to that:

National's political corrrectness watchdog Wayne Mapp says Matariki is not popular enough to justify any official recognition.


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