Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, September 14, 2006

$2 million more for Hui Taumata Taskforce

The government is putting a further $2 million into the Hui Taumata Taskforce.

The taskforce, headed by former governor general Sir Paul Reeves, was set up after last year's Maori economic development summit.

It has been working on a range of projects to increase workplace productivity, build partnerships between Maori and non-Maori businesses, enhance Maori leadership and governance, and promote entrepreneurship.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says results have been positive so far, and the extra funding to extend the life of the taskforce another year should maintain that momentum.

He says partnerships, networking and collaboration are critical for Maori development.

QUESTION TIME IMPROVING SAYS MP

Labour list MP Dave Hereora says MPs are trying hard to restore some order to Parliament.

Question time has been particularly rowdy over the past couple of weeks, leading minor parties to threaten to walk out.
New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone has suggested marae protocols should be introduced in the House.

But Mr Hereora says parties need to show more respect for each other.

He says it's been a frustrating time for MPs.

“Nobody was getting any satisfaction over the intent of question and answer time, and that is to hear the question and hear the appropriate answer. So you would have heard today that there would have been quite a substantial change in the chamber. That was a result of the Speaker getting the whips together and just nutting through how we would best be heard in the house,” Hereora said.

Dave Hereora says the unrest wasn't helped by the extremely controversial nature of many of the issues being discussed.

TRADITIONAL WEAVINGS STUDY ECOLOGY OF MATERIALS

Traditional weavers are pooling their knowledge to ensure there will be ample supplies of weaving material for the future.

The Nga Tipu Ngaranga mo Tua Ake project is funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and technolgy ands brings together the weavers' association Re Toopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa, Christchurch University and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research.

Weavers' deputy chairperson Tina Wirihana says some fascinating material has been unearthed about how weavers find out the best time to harvest species, including one tale about the native rat and the kiekie.

“Once the kiore has feasted on the uri of the kiekie, the fruits of the kiekie, then it’s time when we as weavers can go in and harvest,” Wirihana said.

Tina Wirihana says interviews with hapu and iwi sources are almost complete, and the the project team is now looking at compiling the material in book form.

TASKFORCE DEPUTY WELCOMES CASH INFUSION

Hui Taumata Taskforce deputy chairperson Ngatata Love is welcoming a further $2 million in government funding.

Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia says the funding will support the taskforce for a further year so it can consolidate some of the intitiatves which came out of last year's Maori economic development summit.

Professor Love says the taskforce brings together Maori, business and union leaders to find effective ways to take Maori forward.

He says it has the ability to change the way Maori work.

“ We've developed a leadership and governance model for Maori development entities ranging from the marae through to the corporations and trusts which really needs to be incorporated in the programmes now being offered in universities and the Institute of Directors. We’re working through that because the reality was a lot of the training was not addressing key issues,” Love said.

Ngatata Love says the taskforce is also working on entreprenurship programmes, workforce productivity and youth development.

STROKES AFFECTING MORE WHANAU

The head of the Stroke Foundation says strokes are becoming an increasing burden on Maori families.

Stroke Foundation chief executive Mark Vivian says 8 thousand New Zealanders have strokes each year.

He says the rate of stokes is going down in the non Maori population, but it is on the increase among Maori because of lifestyle issues like diet, smoking and lack of exercise.

Mr Vivian says strokes affect the whole whanau as members take on caregiving roles.

“And there's a real pressure then comes on whanau to provide the unpaid supports to people. Government needs to realise that there’s a wealth of unpaid care and support that goes into stroke survivors,” Vivian said.


Mark Vivian says the Stroke Foundation is looking for ways to be more relevant to Maori

LITERACY PROGRAMME CUTS BOTH WAYS

A new whanau literacy programme is helping children help their parents to read.

Bronwyn Yates, the tumuaki of Literacy Aotearoa, says parents are attracted to the programme because they want to encourage their children to learn.

She says the relationship is mutually fulfilling.

“The most exciting part about whanau family literacy is not only that the parent learns to love learning and increase literacy skills , the children are actually inspired by their parent, and start to feel challenged about how good they can achieve at school,” Yates said.

Bronwyn Yates says the whanau literacy programme is a New Zealand adaption of one developed by the United States-based Family Literacy Centre.

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