Waatea News Update

News from Waatea 603 AM, Urban Maori radio, first with Maori news

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Maori health orgs team up for back end services

The Ministry of Health is encouraging Maori Primary Health Organisations to cut costs by sharing administration services.
Chief Maori advisor Wi Keelan says Maori PHOs have raised concerns that high management costs are affecting their ability to implement the government's primary health care strategy.

Mr Keelan says a feasibility study last year showed Maori PHOs could work together effectively with the support of the district health boards.

He says the ministry is now working with seven Maori PHO from Auckland to Tairawhiti to develop a shared service.

“They've largely been operating by themselves and they’ve found it difficult to provide the range of management services because they are a lot smaller than some of the mainstream organisations. That’s the reason they’re getting together to form this larger shared management service,” Keelan said.

Wi Keelan says the ministry is tendering for someone to prepare a business case showing whether it is best to share services through a central agency or a dispersed network.

WARDENS WANT CHANCE TO FIX PROBLEMS

The long serving president of the national Maori Wardens Association says wardens could do more to address the problems facing many Maori families if they were given the chance.

Peter Walden says the wardens need more funding and operational autonomy from the Maori Council, which is technically responsible for their activities.

He says that would allow Maori wardens to form closer relationships with at-risk whanau and to intervene earlier.
Mr Walden says they could also play a bigger role in tacking the rising amount of street violence.

“Eminent Maori have said there is a pot coming to the boil in regards to the social inequalities our people have been dealt with over the years, and in our case we feel with recruitment that we can bring enormous stability to the social scene,” Walden said.

Peter Walden says the wardens are seeing to have their training courses approved by the Qualifications Authority, as a way of ensuring standards are maintained and giving wardens some credit for their mahi.

NO CHEERS FOR MAORI PARTY

The Maori Party celebrates its first year in parliament this week, but don't expect celebrations from Government.

Labour is still trying to work out how it can win back the four Maori seats lost last election, and it has highlighted any moves the Maori Party has made to work with National.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says the party came into the House in a blaze of publicity, but seems to have quietened down.

“Politics is long haul, and I did feel they formed around one issue and it’s a bit hard to sustain that. We continue to have quiet dialogue and discussion with individual MPs in the Maori Party and do our best to maintain cordial relations, if I could put it that way,” Clark said.

ORAKEI READIES FOR KAWHARU

Hundreds of mourners are expected today Orakei Marae in Auckland for the tangi of the paramount chief of Ngati Whatua, Sir Hugh Kawharu.

Sir Hugh died yesterday surrounded by his family. He was 79.

Marquees have been erected on Takaparawha to cope with the mourners, and the army is assisting with catering.

Ranginui Walker, who worked with Sir Hugh at Auckland University's school of Maori studies, says Sir Hugh played a major role in securing the return of the marae to Ngati Whatua.

Dr Walker says Joe Hawke brought the issue of Ngati Whatua's landlessness to wider public attention through his occupation of Bastion Point, but it was Sir Hugh's knowledge and skills which won a settlement.

“It was really Hugh who could provide the historic background to that claim, because of his intensive research into Maori land tenure at Orakei and government dealings with Orakei lands. You know he characterised the colonial governments as none of them coming away with clain hands after their attempts to expel Ngati Whatua and take over the lands there,” Walker said.

MENTAL HEALTH STUDY FINDS MAORI UNTREATED

A massive study of mental health in this country has found Maori are less likely to seek out mental health services, despite the fact they are the most likely to suffer incidents of mental ill health.

The survey, Te Rau Hinengaro, found one in three Maori are affected by a mental health disorder in any 12 month period, compared with one in five non-Maori.

Psychiatrist Reese Tapsell, who was involved in the research, says the most common disorders among Maori were anxiety, mood disorders and problems caused by substance use.

“We suffer higher rates of mental disorder. That mental disorder is more likely to be moderately severe or severe. So it is actually very important to take a slightly different view of the way we provide services for Maori,” Tapsell said.

Reese Tapsell says government, district health boards and the wider community need to give priority to addressing Maori health needs.

TORERE NUTS GOOD BUSINESS FOR MAORI

A Maori woman who runs an Eastern Bay of Plenty orchard, sees huge potential for Maori interested in growing macadamias.

Vanessa Hayes from Torere Macadamias says New Zealand doesn't grow enough macadamias so has to import the majority of its nuts from Australia.

Ms Hayes says Macadamia growers can also get around the labour shortages which affect the horticulture sector by choosing varieties which fall off the tree when ripe.

Vanessa Hayes says Torere Macadamias expects to eventually have 10 thousand trees planted on its Torere block, and it also propagates and distributes 20 thousand plants a year from its nursery.

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