Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Colonial history lacking in syllabus still

A Treaty of Waitangi educator says most students are still leaving school with little or no knowledge of New Zealand's colonial history.

Robert Consedine says New Zealanders can't understand today's issues if they can't put them in an historical context.

Mr Consedine says Treaty and tangata whenua issues should be throughout the school curriculum so the generations coming through can make better decisions.

“One of the things that makes even Pakeha people pretty angry after they’ve done treaty workshops is the constant questions, why didn’t we do this at school. So the feedback I get on the ground traveling round Aotearoa is that students are still coming from schools with no knowledge of these issues,” Consedine says.

Robert Consedine says the criticisms by the late Michael King about New Zealand's lack of historical understanding still ring true.

ROTORUA CRIME PROBLEM NEEDS WHANAU INTERVENTION

A member of Rotorua District Council's Te Arawa Standing Comittee says a proposed bylaw targeting street crime is a blunt instrument to tackle what is a specific problem.

Hawea Vercoe was the only member of the standing committee to vote against an endorsement of the by-law, which will allow police to remove repeat offenders from the Rotorua town centre.

Mr Vercoe says a small number of people are responsible for most of the street crime.

“They're talking about five or 10 people that initially are going to be affected by it. My challenge to them is why not work directly with those people, with their whanau, because they are youth as well, as opposed to just taking this blanket ban and having police looking out for them daily, as opposed to working with those whanau,” Vercoe said.

Mr Vercoe says if the by-law gets through the legal hoops, it will only push crime into the suburbs.

IT’S HAATEA, NOT HOTEO FOR WHANGAREI RIVER

The battle to change the name of a Whangarei river appears lost, but the common pronunciation may change.

A hui called by the Whangarei District Council's Maori liaison committee has concluded the evidence isn't strong enough to rename the Hatea river to the Hoteo River.

However, if the council decides to stick with the current name, the committee will recommend it be spelt with a macron, indicating the first A is a long vowel sound.

Maori Language Commission chief executive Haami Piripi, who facilitated the hui, says that is a positive step.

“It shows a wonderful breakthrough really in the language and the understanding of its use and the correctness of its use. And it’s a wonderful testament to the Whanagarei people that they are prepared to allow the name to go off and be macronised, because they have a new level of understanding the language and its use among themselves as Whangarei citizens,” Piripi said.

Haami Piripi says people came out of the hui with the sense the issue may be finally resolved.

SWITCH ON MAPP BILL APPLAUDED

Strong Maori pressure has been key to a likely defeat for National MP Wayne Mapp's Probationary Employment Bill.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira today told the Council of Trade Unions' Runanga Maori runanga that his caucus will now vote against the bill.

Mr Harawira voted against the bill's introduction, but the other three MPs supported it to the select committee.

CTU Maori vice president Sharon Clair says Mr Harawira's announcement was applauded by the hui.

“ We're delighted with the Maori Party making its announcement today and particularly with Hone turning up at the runanga to make his announcement to us, We know now where they stand and we know this bill is diminished in its capacity to take away workers' rights,” Clair said.

Sharon Clair says Maori union members kept up the pressure on the Maori Party MPs.

STUDENTS LINE UP ON POLICYMAKERS

They're young, they're Maori, and no one takes them seriously.

That's the complaint of Maori tertiary students association Te Mana Akonga, which started its annual hui in Wellington today.

President Veronica Tawhai says it's an uphill battle to influence politicians and policy makers.

Ms Tawhai says despite the fact 88 thousand Maori students are in tertiary study, the government is cutting funding from tertiary institutes popular with Maori and removing Manaaki Tauira grants and other financial support.

She says he government is out of touch with the needs of maori students.

“A key problem is that we are marginalized both for being Maori and for being young. So Te Mana Akonga try to assert ourselves in a range of forums, both sitting on reference panels and direct lobbying of MPs to try to affect some change.” Tawhai said.

Veronica Tawhai says Te Mana Akonga will hikoi to Parliament tomorrow to state their case directly to politicians.

TAINUI THANKS MEDIA FOR TANGI COVER

Tainui has thanked the media for its respectful portrayal of the late Dame Te Atairangikaahu during coverage of the 6 day tangi.

Monday's live five hour broadcast on TV One drew 430,000 viewers, while almost 150,000 watched the same cover on Maori Television. Another 3300 people worldwide connected in to the live internet stream.

The programme featured Derek Fox, Maori Television's Julian Wilcox, and two of Dame Te Ata's were joined by Dame Te Ata's close advisors, Mamae Takarei and Professor James Richie.

Tainui spokesperson Tom Moana says it was a thoroughly professional production from television, radio and print media.

Mr Moana says the broadcasters repaid the trust Tainui put in them by giving access to the marae.

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