Waatea News Update

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ginger group success lauded

A ginger group which grew out of last year's Hui Taumata Maori economic development summit is proving to be an effective way to initiate new programmes.

The government says it will spend another $2 million dollars keeping the Hui Taumata Taskforce going for another year.

Taskforce deputy chairperson Ngatata Love says the taskforce has a very small secretariat, so it has lower overheads and can move much faster than government agencies like Te Puni Kokiri.

“This is outside government, We don’t want to be responsible to government. You look at the uniqueness of this group. We’re talking about the head of business New Zealand, the head of the Roundtable, the head of the trade union movement, coming together with Maori to make things happen, and that’s pretty exciting,” Love said.

Ngatata Love says the money will go on spreading its Maori governance training framework and developing programmes for entrepreneurship, workforce productivity and youth leadership.

HELP FOR MAORI STROKE SURVIVORS SOUGHT

The head of the Stroke Foundation say Maori need to identify culturally appropriate resources for their people.

Mark Vivian says more than 50 thousand New Zealanders are dealing with the aftermath of strokes, and a further 8 thousand a year have strokes.

The rate of strokes is declining in the non Maori population, but going up in Maori communities because of higher rates of smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise.

Mr Vivian says there are more than 70 stroke support clubs in the country, but many of them need help providing appropriate assistance to Maori.

“It would be really worthwhile for there to be some evaluation of that are the distinctive needs for Maori, living life after stroke. I think it would be sill for a predominantly Pakeha organisation to decide for Maori what would be the really smart ways for responding in a Maori context for Maori” Vivian said.

YOUNG BOOZERS NEED MODEL BEHAVIOUR

Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says Maori communities need to be more active in modelling responsible drinking behaviour to their young people.

Ms Mahuta says Maori need to make their views known to the steering group which is looking into regulations around alcohol advertising.

But she says while advertising is designed to be effective, what young people see in their local communites can also make an impact.

“If kids see their uncles and aunties or older cousins going out and getting rotten, it’s certainly not a good signal. I do know a lot of communities have taken charge of this and are adop[ting more responsible drinking behaviour. Say in sports clubs, trying to model better behaviour, trying to say this is unacceptable if you abuse alcohol,” Mahuta said.

Nanaia Mahuta says young Maori in their 20s and 30s are often better role models for drinking behaviour than the older generation.

TAINUI TO ATTEND KING’S FUNERAL

Members of the family of the late Te Arikinui Dame Te Ata-i Rangi Kaahu will be heading for Tonga to atend the funeral of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV next Tuesday.

A group from Tainui was at Whenuapai Airport yesterday to farewell the air force plane taking the King's body back to his homeland.

Tainui MP Nanaia Mahuta says while the kaahui ariki or Kingitanga royal family will be represented, it is unlikely King Tuheita will travel to the island kingdom.

“ There are formal protocols between ourselves and Tonga regarding being able to receive the new king of Tonga in the most appropriate way here in New Zealand, and vice versa for them receiving King Tuheitia, so those protocols will be observed at a later date,” Mahuta said.

Nanaia Mahuta says extra flights are being put on to ensure all the people who need to attend the funeral will be able to get there.

PROFIT FROM NON-PROFIT SKILLS

Maori are being urged to take the skills they pick up in the non government not-for-profit sector and use them as a springboard into business.

Manuka Henare, the associate dean of Maori and Pacific Development at Auckland University, says many Maori are hesitant to get into business because they are afraid of failure.

He says many end up in the not for profit sector.

“You think of all the many non-profit organisations, the country is full of them, and Maori are very active in these things, and do very well in this area. There’s not much difference between being involved in not for profits and being involved in an arganisation that is for profit, you have to take risks,” Henare said.

Manuka Henare says in the non-profit sector, you are often only as good as your last fundraising effort.

WEAVERS CAPTURING KNOWLEDGE OF PLANTS

Weavers are working with plant and soil scientists to capture the traditional knowledge about harakeke, kiekie and other flaxes used for traditional weaving.

Tina Wirihana from weavers group Te Roopu Raranga Whatu o Aotearoa says interviews for the Nga Tipu Ngaranga mo Tua Ake project are almost complete, and the team is now looking at compiling the material in book form.

Ms Wirihana says the end users may not be the weavers but the people who ensure the flaxes survive in the wild, or are planted where they can be harvested by weavers.

She says they need to understand the culture and science around the plants.

“It's an understanding of the tikanga and the matauranga pertaining to the kaitakitanga af the weaving plants, and really looks at the ecology and the growing of the weaving materials and how it impacts on different areas around the motu,” Wirihana said.

Tina Wirihana says the weavers are working with researchers from Christchurch University and Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, and the project is funded by the Foundation for Research, Science and technology

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